Kaprielian Verhiel Architects Inc. This month one of our largest office space projects opened its doors in Liberty Village. Once the home of the Canada Bread Factory and before that Dyson Tool & Dye, the facility backed 65 million loaves of bread at its peak. As industrial uses started to diminish in the area, the building with such rich history had to close its doors in 2012. Recently it has been given a new life and repurposed into a new office building by Adgar Investments and Developments.
The appeal of a neighborhood with large office spaces with an industrial feel drew Vena Solutions’ rapidly expanding business to 2 Fraser Avenue. With Kave architects’ experience and portfolio in renovation and repurposing existing buildings, we were hired to do a full interior design and interior fit out of the office space.
The design aimed at preserving the warehouse and industrial appeal of the building that originally drew the client’s attention to the space. Kave envisioned a space with exposed steel, wood flooring and finished, graffiti walls and exposed existing brick, all of which would maintain the rustic appeal of the space. Minimalistic fixtures like bright linear lighting strips were integrated throughout the design to bring all the elements together into a modern setting. By mixing the rustic charm of the building with modern elements and sleek black kitchens and accents the space adopted a new funky design style that broke up the space into interesting nodes where staff can interact privately and host more public meetings.
The front entry is on a central access to the main avenue space and opens directly to the main reception desk which starts a theme of barn board finishes in the space. As you look to your right a grand glass boardroom catches your eye, which features a beautiful live edge main and side tables command the space.
There are multiple types of spaces that allow for different types of interaction. The couches in front of the backdrop of the barn board create a casual hang out space for conversation. The bright meeting rooms with large windows and clean glass partitions allow for a more modern space to host meetings. Overall the spaces together create a work environment for the employees that is as fun and interesting as their own home.
The front entry is on a central access to the main avenue space and opens directly to the main reception desk which starts a theme of barn board finishes in the space. As you look to your right a grand glass boardroom catches your eye, which features a beautiful live edge main and side tables which command the space.
The main office space is a grand open space. The repetition of the existing black steel trusses creates a rhythm that is mimicked in the vast symmetrical array of desks and rows of linear lighting. The result is a large office space with the capacity for a large company that also promotes communication between co-workers through its increased sight-lines and open feel. Natural light floods from the large amount of windows on either side of the building allowing the space to be very bright thanks to its lack of partitions.
The large space maintains sight lines while housing meeting spaces and open boardrooms that give opportunities for the workers to hold private meetings while keeping the space open through its lack of visual barriers.
As the open office space opens to the north the main washrooms and staff entry can be seen, where on the south several glass meeting rooms allow your view to follow through the entire space and see the main kitchen and gorgeous mezzanine space.
The mezzanine is second grand open space in the design with lower boardrooms and phone booths which carry the glass and barn board material palettes into this space. As you move up the stairs a casual feel to the space takes over with a large cafeteria, two kitchens and games area situated to enjoy your breaks and grab a coffee at one of the fully designed millwork pieces in the space.
The finished result creates a unique style that holds true to the history of the industrial heritage of the building while adding a contemporary office style.
485 KING STREET WEST
Kaprielian Verhiel Architects Inc. is proud to announce that our project at 485 King Street West has recently been completed. Located in the heart of Toronto’s Fashion District, the recently repurposed brick and beam warehouse building has been given a new life by our conversion to an office and retail establishment which Baro Restaurant now calls home.
The client, Allied Properties, an owner, manager and developer of office buildings throughout the city, prides itself in the reuse of industrial structures into comfortable, urban office spaces. At Kave Architects, we aimed to design the space as a bright, contemporary new landscape for people to work and be entertained in while expanding on the original architecture of the historic building.
The city of Toronto is undergoing many restoration projects throughout the city. Preserving Toronto’s Heritage is a crucial part of any architects work and at Kave architects the preservation of the history and culture of every site is crucial. The 485 King Street project is an example of how old and new can meld to create interesting and unique urban environments.
The original building featured exposed brick with structural wood frames and windows around each side of the façade with grand windows to the street, however the existing building had the windows infilled, a failing wood structure and existing bricks which had aged and were now in need of immediate repair.
The protection of a building’s history and original essence was a very important aspect over the course of this project. The abundance of natural light, exposed structure and character was incorporated into the design process and renovation of this old industrial building.
The current state of the building required several changes to be implemented to restore it back to its original state and a trendy space to enjoy in Toronto. The building was gutted while keeping the existing wood structure, making way for a completely new system. This new system of steel and concrete was interwoven behind the existing wood and brick to maintain the building’s character while upgrading the space to accommodate the new activities.
The windows were re-opened and maintained in order to preserve the charm of the old building as well as to allow for an abundance of natural light. The existing brick was sand blasted, repaired and built upon to expand the use of the building to include high ceilings and a rooftop patio. Finally the original sign on the side of the building was reinstated in order to keep a piece of Toronto’s history and add to a recognizable feature of the building from the street.
The clean, modern style of the polished concrete floors accent the rustic look of the wood and brick to help create the atmosphere of a contemporary entertainment space that also emphasizes its historic roots.
The rooftop is a defining feature of this project. The glass stair enclosure, sheltering the entrance to the rooftop terrace, builds vertically upon the industrial aspects of the existing building, to create a recognizable feature on the building which is an illuminated beacon at night and a creative view from the rooftop to the exposed structure of the building below. The rooftop itself features a new raised brick parapet around the entirety of the perimeter that has been composed of new brick and store which seemingly matches what is existing below. The rooftop space was intended to become a hub for entertainment and social interaction which certainly will be recognized throughout the area.
The front entry was re-envisioned to become something which was fully opened at street level, full glass windows with separated entrances, new steel and wood canopy that provides protection from the elements while tying back to the industrial roots of the building.
The finished result creates three tiers of entertainment and community spaces, each with its own distinct character and history. This first and most public tier would be the walkway between 485 King Street West project and its neighbor. As seen in the render, the transition space would showcase the vintage sign and create a brightly lit walking corridor that promotes interaction between people in the neighborhood. The second tier would be the restaurant, now a staple in the city with a recognizable entrance and open feel. The third and most private would be the third floor loft space and the rooftop terrace, a beacon in the community and space for many events to come where more history will be made.