repurposing

Department store repurposing nets Urban Design Award

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The repurposing of the late 19th-century Kingsmill’s department store in London, Ontario, into a multi-disciplinary centre of learning for Fanshawe College has received an Award of Excellence in Urban Design for Adaptive Re-Use.

The City of London presented the award to Diamond Schmitt Architects and associate Phil Agar Architect, with ERA Architects as heritage consultants. The new 114,000-square-foot hybrid facility is home to the Schools of Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts and Information Technology.

In a press release, the city said the awards are a “chance to recognize and celebrate original design, innovative concepts and visionary thinking in the field of urban planning.”

The seven-storey structure includes a setback three-storey addition above a terrace on top of the original building. Colourful metal panels and varying densities of frit on the glazing enliven the new façade. The building retains its street character by preserving the stone facade and awning on Dundas Street while the adjacent red brick annex was dismantled and rebuilt using the heritage brick.

A student-run restaurant animates the ground floor, which also features a two-storey biofilter living wall, amphitheatre seating, and an open corridor that links the Dundas and Carling Street entrances. Other original features incorporated in the design include reclaimed wood joists, a tin ceiling and locally made yellow brick.

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