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ERA Architects


The Kiln Building (Building 16), Evergreen Brick Works

The Kiln Building (Building 16), Evergreen Brick Works

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“Building 16” at the Brick Works housed several massive kilns built in the 1960s for firing and drying bricks. The kilns were fascinating artifacts, but their sheer size — 600 linear metres occupying three-quarters of the building — made the space impossible to use.

From 2010–2013, ERA was involved in dissecting the kilns to reveal their hidden spaces and internal workings. Through this work, ERA was able to open-up the building for public use, and at the same time tell the story of this historic space.

Most recently, the building underwent another round of alterations and redevelopment as it evolved into a more intentional event and education centre. With sustainable principles at the forefront (aiming for carbon-neutral) part of the mandate was to ensure the building (and kilns) would be less vulnerable to flooding. As a result, the building was enclosed (with large operable doors to maintain the fluidity between interior and exterior space) and the floor level raised (with a concealed drainage channel).

ERA’s work during this phase also included updates to the Interpretation Strategy. The circulation routes historically associated with the brick manufacturing process were an important part of Building 16’s cultural heritage value and risked being concealed by the new concrete floor. The proposed strategy was three-fold: portions of the existing rails were retained in situ (where the original floor level was kept), concealed segments of active rails were interpreted with a flat plate metal insert, and concealed segments of passive rails, where bricks were stored, were interpreted with a sandblasted concrete finish. Finally, the concrete was tinted in areas where kiln was removed, referencing the footprint of the original kiln.

Photographs by A-Frame Photography

Evergreen Brickworks
LGA Architectural Partners (Prime)
ARUP (Structural), BGIS (Mechanical), Ianuzziello & Associates Inc. (Electrical), SCS Consulting Group (Civil)
2002 –2018
Philip Evans/Lyndsey Sneddon/Shelley Ludman/Max Yuristy

Related Projects

The Distillery District Cityscape Development Corporation & Dundee Realty
View of the Commons area with new landscaping
Evergreen Brick Works City of Toronto and the Toronto Region Conservation Authority