ERA Architects

The future of Ontario Place

Mark Medley had a piece in the Saturday Post exploring the future of Ontario Place. He quotes a number of local practitioners, including ERA’s Michael McClelland.

Perhaps we should revisit the past when deciding the future. Michael McClelland of E.R.A. Architects thinks we should look at Zeidler’s original blueprint.

“My hope would be that they’d reinvest in the original ideas,” he says, “and figure out how to improve them, rather then go, ‘That’s all crap; we’re going to take it all away.’ ”

McClelland also points to Zeidler’s unbuilt Harbour City project, which would have created a neighbourhood of 60,000 people on what is now the Toronto Island Airport; [project spokesperson Hugh] Mansfield says plans that include residential elements will not be dismissed.

Read the full article ‘Once a gem, now generally forgotten, what could the future hold for Ontario Place?

Two Sheds

Completed just before he joined ERA, one of Joey Giaimo’s projects is featured in the July issue of Canadian Architect.

Bred from his Masters thesis work at UBC,

which considered residual or underutilized space in the city and how it could be redesigned in ways not typically considered to connect with adjacent spaces, Giaimo proposed that the sheds be constructed of customary, practical materials to blend in with the industrial context of the neighbourhood–but in an unconventional way to challenge current approaches to these stereotypical ancillary structures and create meaningful public engagement or activity.

“Formally, sheds are boring structures–strictly utilitarian,” says Giaimo. “The project questions this understanding and how design could inform a rethinking of this building type.”

Read the full article ‘Two Sheds Are Better Than One‘ by Clare Tattersall here.

Marble Madness

[Unfortunately, not this kind of Marble Madness]

A number of ERAers got together to do a group order of reclaimed Carrara marble from First Canadian Place.  All 45,000 2′ x 4′ marble panels are currently being removed from the tower, and will soon be replaced by larger glass panels.  A slick animation of the process is available here.  The reclaimed marble is available for public purchase, with a minimum order of 30 pieces.

We look forward to seeing what everyone does with their new/old marble; expect coffee tables and counter-tops galore.  Hopefully Toronto is soon awash in re-used Carrara marble.  A few words of warning for anyone else looking to get in on the fun: the batch delivery process was convoluted and involved many delays, the individual slabs were a real challenge to move once delivered (each weighing +200lbs, depending upon varying thicknesses), and the chipped, soiled, and broken condition of many of the slabs limit their re-use potential – though with a bit of effort it’s a unique opportunity to get to work with high-grade locally-sourced recycled material at an extreme bargain price.

Prince Edward County office

ERA Architects are proud to announce the opening of their Prince Edward County office located in beautiful Picton.

Lindsay Reid and Scott Bailey will be working from this location.

Prince Edward County

ERA Architects are proud to announce the opening of their Prince Edward County office, located in beautiful Picton. (The above photo is not the office, but the barn! Yes, the office has a barn. A wonderful old barn.)

Architects Lindsay Reid and Scott Bailey will be working from this location. Lindsay is a licensed architect with more than ten years of experience in the field of heritage conservation. She has a special interest in the conservation of our cultural institutions as well as the protection and appreciation of our modern heritage. As a LEED accredited professional she revisits traditional methods and technologies as a means to inform sustainable solutions.

Scott is a licensed architect with more than ten years experience in all stages of building analysis, planning, design, contract documentation, field review and project administration for renovation projects and new buildings. He has worked on projects in both the private and public sectors, often working to marry historic buildings with new construction.

Currently the PEC office are researching the restoration of a number of local historic trains, including the H.C.W. Steam Train in Wakefield, Quebec, and the Spirit of Sir John A Train in Kingston.

Grilled

ERA celebrated the season with our annual BBQ yesterday. Andrew generously provided his back yard for the festivities, which lasted well into the evening.  The weather was sweltering, the huge spread of food was delicious, many refreshing beverages were imbibed, and nothing was broken. All and all, a great success.