Owner: J.P. Thomson Architects Ltd.
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Size: 10,000 sf
The current offices of J.P. Thomson Architects Ltd. are housed in the former St. Paul’s Anglican Church originally built in 1948 and designed by architect J.C. Pennington. This challenging adaptive reuse involved the complete interior renovation of the church and further investigations of the building’s structural integrity.
Conceptually, the building’s new design seeks to seamlessly create a modern 21st century office, while maintaining a strong sense of character and place. The new floor plan and use of space was developed to provide a “memory trace” to the former use. Everything from the ceiling composition to the use of materials was carefully and thoughtfully designed. Architecturally, the existing roof structure was originally hidden behind a dropped ceiling. The removal of this old covering, revealed a beautiful wood ceiling and steel structure. The restoration of these elements and the inclusion of well crafted lighting systems helped to transform the former nave into a vibrant and warm workplace. The former priest’s quarters was converted into a new conference room that overlooks the main work floor.
From a sustainability perspective, the building meets and exceeds all ASHRAE design criteria and is a model example of high efficiency energy design. The majority of the renovation involved the complete and total mechanical and electrical upgrades, including the heating, plumbing and lighting systems. The building design incorporates hot-water heating, high performance glazing, sustainable flooring (bamboo and linoleum sheets) and runs on a building management and control system.
In 2004, the firm 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. The resulting renovation has created an enlivened space that reflects the dynamic work environment of the office. Operating in such a dramatically charged space serves as an inspiring backdrop to our daily work.