This unusual project is an adaptive reuse of a heritage industrial building into housing in Hamilton's hip and ultra-desirable North End waterfront neighborhood, and part of the legacy of Hamilton's storied industrial and waterfront history. This project has obsessed us as both the architect and developer. We renovated the vacant industrial building into 3 large residential loft-style townhouses.
For us a clear goal has been to inject high calibre architecture and interior design in order to help elevate discussion and expectations about design quality, and help raise the bar aesthetically in a town and neighbourhood belaboured with much banal, non-descript recent housing and infill projects. Hopefully people will see what is possible and then to expect and demand it with their pocketbooks. The idea is also to illustrate what good design looks like in a world where everyone with a Pinterest page thinks they are a designer. The design inspiration was the similarity to the warehouse setting of the Reservoir Dogs movie, and this led us to craft each dwelling loosely around a character, Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink and Mr. White and their personas.
- Vacant former machine and tool shop circa 1910 converted into 3 cool, lux freehold dwellings.
- Highly individualized design, customization and detailing of each dwelling, both inside and out. Colours, cabinets, finishes, lighting, landscaping all unique to each dwelling and all by the architects.
- Extraordinary character in a heritage industrial building with exposed brick walls and 14'-17' high ceilings, and most is rare Douglas Fir timber roof deck, beams and columns.
- Renovated circa 1910 constructed building with unique history as a metal fabrication and tool making shop for the Jobborn Manufacturing Company, who held US Patents from 1888 and who made parts for the Ford Motor Company until the 1960's; then the building was used as a Prohibition-era liquor warehouse (with a barrel ramp to the No. 11 basement and two walk-in brick safes, and later as a 1970's 'boiler room' operation with over 100 telephone lines). More recently used as a warehouse for Complete Rent-Alls.
- Remnants of the past industrial history have been left intact inside and out.
- Ultra-modern exterior blending the retained historic character with modern steel, glass block window elements (for privacy and security), corrugated metal siding and custom designed steel and glass elements.
- Individually designed entrances with oversize metal entry doors each with a custom artistic metal treatment and paint finish by local metal artist David Hind.
- Glass doors to access side and rear gardens (and outdoor shower in No. 11).
- Rebuilt exterior brick walls, new exterior walls with R25 insulation, new sloping modified bitumen roof with R31 insulation.
- Standing seam metal roof on projecting roof elements. New modified bitumen sloping roof with prefinished aluminum eavestrough and downspouts.
- Aluminum commercial grade windows and doors with insulating, Low-E, argon filled glass and all awning type vent windows for rain protection.
- Large commercial style frosted glass garage door from No. 11 to the entrance porch, which is screened for privacy with wood slats.
- Bright and spacious dwellings with very high ceilings throughout and including:
- Generous and uniquely designed windows on all exposures bringing lots of natural light and cross-ventilation into all living and sleeping spaces.
- Multiple skylights in each unit, including operable, remote operated Velux skylights for summer natural heat ventilation, with auto-closing rain sensor.
- Daylighting features like a two storey roof 'periscope' with skylights in the Den in No. 7, a two storey Foyer 'light tower' with high window on No. 9, and a two storey Den roof clerestory with skylight, as well as a two storey loft / lightwell on No. 11 to grab early morning and late afternoon light in this mid-block urban building.
- Long, wide, skylit gallery spaces with much wall space for art, and lit with adjustable LED track lights.
- Open ramped gallery to basement in No. 11 with two skylights, custom raw steel and baltic birch plywood railings, with Interface carpet tile floor.
- Kitchens have huge floating style custom millwork island and wall cabinets with integral storage pantry, oversized full-extension drawers for storage, under counter microwave shelf, frosted glass doors, natural stone countertops, gooseneck faucets and underhung sinks, recessed soap dispensers, and built-in stacking laundry equipment (Nos. 7 and 9), unique slotted door pull cut-outs as a design motif.
- Wood species: No. 7: Tiami; No. 9: Cherry; No. 11: White Ash.
- Stones: No. 7: Nero Tunisi, No. 9: Confusion Dark, No.11: Sydney.
- Fireplaces with custom built-in concrete hearth with wood storage below (No. 7 and 9), custom huge, one piece bent, folded and slotted raw steel hearth in No. 11 with a built-in seat, and custom millwork wood and tile enclosures with display niches and roughed-in for future LED display lighting (wood-burning fireplaces in No. 7 and 9, gas in No. 11).
- Ensuite washrooms in Master Bedrooms, with sliding doors (Nos. 7 and 11).
- Washroom vanities are custom millwork with natural stone counters, generous drawer storage, integral linen storage, integral garbage grommets in counter for a concealed waste receptacle, custom mirrors, underhung sinks and integral towel bars.
- Outdoor shower with fenced enclosure in No. 11 usable all year, accessed by door from the bathroom shower.
- Separate linen closet in No. 9 bathroom.
- Generous walk in closets in Master Bedrooms.
- Small artist's loft space on No. 11 integral to a two storey lightwell to the main floor, with an open stair with a central stained glass chandelier, private roof terrace, with all loft surfaces finished in plywood. The stair is a custom raw steel stair with open maple treads and steel railings.
- Two brick walk-in safes in No. 11, one repurposed as a glass doored wine cellar with metal wine racking, cedar finishes and cork floor; one safe unfinished in basement with metal safe door.
- Exposed original brick walls in No. 11.
Materials and Finishes
- Custom colour and finishes schemes for each unit developed by the Architects: the wood species, stone countertops, glass mosaic tiles, paint colours and accent colour walls, kitchen faucet hose colour and all the light fixtures vary to suit the individual character that was the inspiration for the dwelling.
- Includes premium Fisher+Paykel stainless steel appliances, including a 30" gas/electric range, double drawer style dishwasher, 17 cu. ft. refrigerator with water dispenser and bottom freezer; Sirrius built-in exhaust hood; Blomberg stacked white washer and gas dryer (built-in to kitchen cabinets in Nos. 7 and 9).
- 5" wide stained oak hardwood floors throughout the Living/Dining/Sleeping areas.
- Herringbone pattern stained oak hardwood floors in the Living areas(No. 11).
- Cork tile floors in Bathrooms for warmth and non-slip surface (and the No. 7 walk-in closet).
- French limestone tile floors in Foyers.
- Sliding frosted glass walls by C-Living that fully open to nest out of the way on two walls in Dens (No. 9 and 11) and Bedroom (No. 7) and Bedroom and Walk-in Closet in No.11.
- Birch interior wood doors with natural finish.
- Direct access glass doors to side and rear gardens from living areas.
- Direct access glass door to side garden from Master Bedroom (No. 11).
- MDF (medium density fibreboard) base and trim with natural finish.
- Ceiling fans by Modern Fan Company in all bedrooms. Unique light fixtures made by artists in Vancouver (No. 11 kitchen pendant by Propellor Design), Toronto (hand-blown stained glass in bathrooms and loft stair by AM Studio), Philadelphia (acrylic kitchen pendants by CP Lighting), Copenhagen (copper petal light by Vita Copenhagen) and Spain (stained bentwood lights by LZF Lighting). Classic industrial pendants designed by famed French architect Le Corbusier in 1954 in all bedrooms. Exterior LED lighting by Toronto company Europhase.
- Unique custom entrance door handles designed by New York architect George Ranalli, inspired by the famed Italian architect Carlos Scarpa.
- Unique plumbing fixtures and trim throughout. Gooseneck kitchen faucets with custom coloured hoses by Grohe to match the character colour, bathroom faucets by Philippe Starck for Axor Hansgrohe, toilets by Philippe Starck for Duravit. Under mount stainless sinks.
- Rainshower with 4 body wash spray heads in No. 11.
- Unique iridescent glass mosaic tile in kitchen, bathrooms and fireplaces.
- Flush gray light switches and receptacle device covers.
- Custom exterior signage made by artists in the UK, Poland and the US, and unique door bell buttons.
- Glass shower stall enclosures and prefabricated one piece acrylic bases with concealed drains (tile shower base in No.11).
- All interior wood sandblasted to remove dust, dirt, debris, soot and char from past small fire and to return all wood to a high quality finish condition.
- All new water, sewer, stormwater, heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC), electrical systems.Individual metering.
- Gas fired heating furnace with exposed spiral ductwork, integral air conditioning system.
- Gas-fired instantaneous hot water heaters (Nos. 7 and 9).
- Heat recovery ventilators.
- Security systems installed and operational with alarms, cameras and video recorder; no telecommunications system required for operation.
- Pre-wired for telecommunications system.
- Large custom steel fenced front entrance terraces (with steel entrance portal and raised porch on No. 11) with custom stained concrete pavers; individualized custom designed landscaping by local landscape architect Nathan Stewart.
- Outdoor shower with fenced enclosure in No. 11 usable all year.
- One asphalt paved car parking space per unit (Two included for No. 11).
- Custom designed stained cedar privacy fences to street facing gardens with padlock hasp.
- Fully sodded yards with terraces with stained concrete pavers, and custom stained cedar privacy fences. All the neighbours' fences are clad in reed fencing for visual consistency.
- New Low Impact Development stormwater management system with underground detention chambers to provide natural percolation and storage capacity.