On March 15th 20 staff from ERA and members of the Architecture Conservancy of Ontario’s Next Gen group joined Antoni Pijaca, a heritage mason with over 30 years of award-winning tuckpointing experience for a workshop focusing on techniques and skills of the trade. English Tuckpointing is a brick-laying method used on homes, churches, schools and institutions. Materials required included lime mortar, lime putty, a straightedge, tuck irons and frenchman (ribbon knives).
This technique was popular in Toronto’s late 1800’s architecture as a cosmetic solution that imitated the gauged brickwork found in England during the same period. It was an efficient and effective means of capturing the same appearance, but requiring less work and precision.
After the introduction, staff participated in a ‘hands on’ session, demonstrating their new found knowledge.
ERA wishes to thank Hunt Heritage for providing this unique learning opportunity.
Harlyn Thompson Lecture Series – Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Eckhardt Gramatte Hall
University of Winnipeg
Sabina Ali – Chair, Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee
Graeme Stewart – Principal, ERA Architects, Co-Founder/Board Member, Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal (CUG+R) and Co-Editor, Concrete Toronto: A Guidebook to Concrete Architecture from the Fifties to the Seventies
Graeme Stewart and Sabina Ali will introduce the case of Toronto’s built legacy: upwards of 2,000 modernist tower blocks that define its urban landscape. Hidden in plain sight on the political radar for decades, they have experienced an extended period of neglect, however a season of change has recently emerged.
‘Tower Renewal’ sprang forth as a resolution to engage policy-makers and members of the public through research, development and calls-to-action. It shone a light on the under-estimation of the importance of these towers as vast, vertical communities whose social and structural preservation are imperative in meeting the challenges of the city’s demand for greater density and enhanced quality of life amid dwindling resources.
Toronto’s Tower block urbanism is ubiquitous, complex and contentious in nature for its physical and cultural landscape. Conservation solutions refuse to be pigeonholed, requiring a multifaceted and customized approach. The Tower Renewal initiative is nimble and dynamic in approach, successfully and sensitively addressing each project as separate and unique.
Photo credit: Chloë Ellingson
As host of the 2017 American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Quad Conference, Ryerson University reached out to ERA Architects to host a tour of the firm’s offices and to conduct a tour of The Distillery District on March 10th & 11th respectively. Ryerson’s vision for the event was in inspiring and educating students on new perspectives of architecture introduced through diversity and globalization.
For ERA’s part, a tour of the office functioned as a circuit between 4 separate environments on 2 floors of 10 St. Mary Street. Staff led 3 groups for 1½ hours through discussions on office environment features/layout, programming, team dynamics/disciplines, overarching themes, major/special projects, software/technology and the material library/plotter. The tour culminated in a small ½ hour reception and closing remarks by Michael McClelland.
The following day, in frigid weather, the group toured the award-winning heritage conservation and adaptive re-use project: The Distillery District. The tour was led by ERA Principals Michael McClelland and Andrew Pruss and ran from 2:30 – 4:00pm. They focused on the following themes: Historic Architecture & Urban Form, Adaptive Reuse & Occupancy, and the Contemporary Layer of New Construction as applied to Trinity Street, the Windmill site, Stone Distillery, the Tank/Boiler House and the Young Centre for the Performing Arts.
The two tours made a positive impression on the students, many of whom had never been to Toronto and hoped to extend their trip and/or return to the city in the future.
Last Saturday, March 4th, as part of its third annual seminar, BEAT featured ERA Project Manager Amy Norris as part of a program of female architects, landscape architects, and interior designers based in Toronto. The panel spoke to students, recent graduates and young practitioners about their professional experiences working in and establishing design practices in Toronto in industries that presents both challenges and opportunities for women. Amy also presented information about newly established groups within the OAA and RAIC that focus on issues of interest to emerging practitioners in the design industries. The panel was made up of sole practitioners, partners in design firms and academics. The event took place at The Gladstone Hotel’s North Ballroom.
The event was scheduled as a prelude to International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8th. Given the findings of recent surveys that show a decrease in the percentage of women who study architecture versus those who are currently practicing, and the number of firm partners and principals who are women, the seminar’s mandate was: 1. To provide insight into the professional histories of leading female design practitioners, and 2. To promote mentorship of the current cohort of women transitioning into the profession through introductions and networking opportunities. Underlying these goals is the understanding that people need to see themselves reflected in the leadership of their chosen profession in order to garner a sense of acceptance and the possibility for success for their future careers.
Kate Fox-Whyte, Principal, Foxwhyte Landscape Architecture
Irene Gardpoit, Director and Principal Architect, Uufie
Pat Hanson, Principal, gH3
Marianne McKenna, Founding Partner, KPMB
Lola Sheppard, Associate Professor, Waterloo Architecture and Co-Founder, Lateral Office
Amy Norris, Project Manager, ERA and member of the OAA Intern Committee and RAIC Emerging Practitioners Steering Committee.
Betsy Williamson, Partner, Williamson Williamson Inc. and BEAT Advisory Committee Member
ERA will be ‘out of office’ on March 3rd, as we attend our first annual conference, offering a range of opportunities to congregate and mingle as a full office! Follow the day’s proceedings – #eracon17.
The following is an abridged agenda:
9:40 – WELCOME, OPENING REMARKS
9:45 – KEYNOTE SPEAKER Antonella Ceddia, Litigation Lawyer, City of Toronto
– o r i g i n s –
10:30 – WHAT DOES ERA DO? Michael McClelland
11:00 – ORIGIN STORY – ERA EXECUTIVES
11:30 – Q&A [GRILL THE EXECUTIVE]
1:10 – WALKING TOURS
Tour 1: Queen West Triangle – A Planning Novella
Tour 2: West-to-West Queen West! – An Architectural Meander
Tour 3: What is a ‘CAMH’ anyway?
Tour 4: Legal Non-conforming Transcendence on Dovercourt
– o u r c u r r e n t p r a c t i c e –
2:20 – WORKSHOP SESSION 1
Workshop 1.1: How To Read Drawings – for non-architects
Workshop 1.2: Informing Design Through Value Added Collaboration
Workshop 1.3: Ethics And Practice: Choosing Projects / ERA’s Evolving Role As City Builders / Agents Of Civic Values
Workshop 1.4: Best Practices in Architectural Drawings and Detailing
Workshop 1.5: Conservation Process: Theory And Practice
Workshop 1.6: Design Studio: Fundamentals Of House Planning
– f u t u r e d i r e c t i o n s a n d g r o w t h –
3:20 – WORKSHOP SESSION 2
Workshop 2.1: Mentorship – Best Practices /Accreditation
Workshop 2.2: Communicating in a Growing Office
Workshop 2.3: ERA Initiatives – Impact and New Practice Areas
Workshop 2.4: Outsider Advice – Applying Our Methodology Outside The GTA
Workshop 2.5: Emerging Practice Area: New Technologies in Conservation
Workshop 2.6: Rethinking Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs)
Workshop 2.7: Emerging Practice Area: Reimagining our Modern Legacy, Conservation and Transformation
Workshop 2.8: The Land We Work On
4:20 – CLOSING REMARKS
The 53,000-square-foot kiln building at Evergreen Brick Works is set for a conversion that will create a collaboration zone to aid in building sustainable cities, with a target of developing systems and technologies for reducing carbon emissions. To set the standard, project partners EllisDon, Brookfield Global Integrated Systems, CRH Canada, Levitt Goodman Associates Architectural Partners and ERA Architects will strive to attain a carbon neutral design target for the site, a first in Canada. Once completed, the doors will be open to citizens, the public/private sectors and thought leaders to contribute to the initiative.
The heritage adaptive design approach was created in consultation with the City of Toronto’s Preservation Services, Ontario Heritage Trust and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to support the preservation of heritage features in the building. ERA was directly involved in the conservation of the unconditioned kiln building, one of 16 historically significant buildings on the campus of Evergreen Brick Works. This structure houses a large collection of industrial brick firing kilns that are currently subject to flooding and freeze-thaw cycles. Enclosing the open west wall of the building, raising the floor, and conditioning the building will be a significant contribution to stabilize these artefacts, while continuing to highlight the heritage aspects of the historic space.
The Brick Works have become a notable destination for locals and tourists alike, drawn to the consistently eco-friendly programming housed within the walls of its LEED platinum-certified building. It will be a gathering place for interactive workshops and community programs that focus on working collaboratively, and will strengthen networks, inspiring action through new and enhanced gallery and meeting spaces. This latest endeavour will catalyze advancements in renewable energy technologies, while preserving the heritage features.
Congratulations to the ERA project team: Philip Evans, Shelley Ludman and Eunice Lam!
To review the Canadian Architect-published press release, click here.
To review the related Globe and Mail article by Alex Bozikovic, click here.
To review the Blog TO article by Amy Grief, click here.
Feature rendering courtesy of LGA Architects.
Photos courtesy of ERA Architects.
The 2016 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation has been awarded to Andrew Pruss, (Principal, ERA Architects), Les Mallins, (President, Streetcar) and the project team behind the revitalization of The Broadview Hotel. The award commends the contribution to the conservation of a heritage building and the community enhancement it fosters.
The Broadview Hotel is a landmark heritage-designated building at the northwest corner of Queen and Broadview that functioned as a community hub for clubs, businesses, athletics and site for the public engagement of city-developing events. It was completed in 1891-2 by oilman and soap maker Archibald Dingman in the Romanesque Revival style of architecture The building, formerly known as Dingman’s Hall, anchors the end of a commercial shopping strip that begins just after the bridge over the Don Valley and terminates at the end of Queen Street East in the Beaches. Its long-standing presence at the corner of Queen Street and Broadview Avenue make it an imposing and prominent beacon within the Riverside neighbourhood.
Over 36 months, ERA Architects and the project team worked to conserve and maintain key architectural features of the 125-year-old landmark: rounded-arch and squared-head windows, decorative terra cotta panels, prominent turret with a pyramidal roof, wide arches and rusticated stonework on the ground floor. The development of the structure included an addition to increase its capacity. Its use as a hotel will return, with 58 guestrooms, a restaurant and cafe added to the ground floor and a dynamic rooftop providing stunning views of the cityscape. Exterior alterations include: the removal of fire stairs, window replacement, the reinstatement of entrances and storefronts, metal cornices on the facades, and masonry and glass additions.
The hotel will welcome guests to the east-end beginning in spring 2017.
Project photos are courtesy of Streetcar Developments.
To review the article by Joanna Lavoie in InsideToronto.com, click here.
Vancouver’s high-rise rental apartment stock may vary in materiality from Toronto’s, however it’s no less in need of reinvestment and regeneration. In the article that follows Christopher Cheung looks to the Tower Renewal initiative for inspiration and a cue for what is possible on the west coast.
Click here to view the article.
All images courtesy of Christopher Cheung.
Mikel Landa, a specialist in wooden architecture, heritage preservation and cultural landscapes discusses a sustainable approach to these topics at the Fort York National Historic Site Visitor Centre at 250 Fort York Boulevard on Saturday, February 18th from 3:00pm – 4:30pm. Read the posting for details.
Former Toronto resident Rebecca Lo explores the Heritage Toronto award-winning project and shares Michael McClelland’s insights on a successful transition from a site laden with stigma and apprehension to one that is celebrated and fascinating to behold: