The Kingsmill’s Department Store building in downtown London is now home to Fanshawe College’s Schools of Information Technology and Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts. Located on 130 Dundas Street, previously 126-132 Dundas St, the building is an important cultural landmark for the city and was built in 1865.
Its current façade is composed of both limestone and brick veneer dating back to 1932 and 1911, respectively, when the building was rebuilt after a series of fires. Designed by Oliver Roy Moore, an important London architect responsible for several landmarks on the University of Western campus, it has an Art Deco design representative of the era, with other unique attributes such as a zigzag stepped horizontal pediment, an octagonal glass island, simple cornice, and decorative flower motifs.
ERA was brought on to the team with Diamond Schmidt Architects as the heritage architect on the project. ERA’s role was to help conserve the important heritage aspects of the building, while preparing the structure for its modern use and contemporary addition. The brick facade was documented, dismantled and rebuilt, whereas the limestone façade remained on site during the construction through a retention structure.
The end result is the adaptive re-use of a historic building into a multiuse space and educational hub for Fanshawe students that breathes new life into London’s downtown.