Location: Windsor, Ontario
Size: 5,000 sf Addition to Heritage-listed Office
Who better to conceive the addition to our old offices than ourselves. J.P. Thomson Architects Ltd. was asked by the new owners to examine the ability of the large property to accommodate additional office space and ensure that the building could be turned into an accessible-friendly facility. Most importantly, the design needed to feel as part of the original building. Formerly St. Paul’s Anglican Church and originally built in 1948, the building was listed on the municipal heritage registry as an identified property.
Conceptually, the building’s new design sought to seamlessly create a modern 21st century office, while maintaining a strong sense of character and place. Herein was the challenge. There was and is a right way and a wrong way when tasked with such an endeavour. To create an new addition to an old building requires tremendous skill and sensitivity. Detailing and craftsmanship is paramount. It was reinvented in a way that creates a minimalist form and shape ensuring that the original building’s character remained and was not challenged by the new intervention.
It is not without precedent that the wrong way to expand on an older building is to attempt to duplicate its gestures and details.
In 2004, JPTA won a Built Heritage Award through the Windsor Heritage Committee for recognition of the effort to maintain/restore the original architectural integrity of the property. If built, the resulting expansion proposition would have won another.