ERA has been the Architect of Record at the Distillery District since 1996, and has worked to transform what had been a 13 acre abandoned post industrial site, comprised of 44 heritage buildings, into a vibrant mixed use arts and culture district. ERA also worked as the heritage consultant with more than 12 different architecture teams on the alteration and restoration of many individual spaces within the site. ERA was responsible for an extensive approvals process for the heritage work on the larger distillery site involving the preparation of conservation plans and permit document. Overall, the Distillery District project involved over 70 building permit applications and over 130 heritage permits.
The Corkin Gallery was awarded the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture in 2010 by the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada.
RAIC Jury comments on the Corkin Gallery and the work of Shim-Sutcliffe and ERA Architects:
“An intelligent adaptation of the distillery infrastructure, re-purposing the building to effective ends. The project shows that it is not enough to preserve the “history” of the building with a passive voice, but instead requires a strategic intervention, drawing out its latent qualities and giving it renewed meaning. Delivered with impeccable detailing, the project distinguishes between the old and the new – a well-rehearsed genre – but here brings the two into seamless and inventive cohesion.”
“The contemporary insertion is careful and clever, creating a spatial complexity that the original building lacked – while maintaining all the old structural elements. The dialogue between old and new is respectful and makes a better building that the simple sum of the elements used.”