Blouin Tardif Architectes do a beautiful adaptive reuse and addition in Montreal.
One of the reasons we love old wood warehouse buildings, and the new wood buildings that are built like old buildings, is that they are so flexible and adaptable. Here is a great example from Montreal, the Monument project by Blouin Tardif Architectes. It is now seven lovely residential units, but look where and what it has been.
In 1905 it was “The Saint Louis Preserving Company” where they made jams and jellies. According to V2com-newswire:
In 1927, the lingerie company “Grenier” took over to install its manufacture and an important addition is built in 1933. This was carried out according to the plans of the architect Joseph-Zéphirin Gauthier, which unify the different parts of the building in a new façade. The latter, in brick masonry, is punctuated by a regular arrangement of the fenestration, composed of a rectangular window, which is interrupted by the semicircular opening of the entrance. The company will leave the 4835 Coloniale in 2012.
Now it has found new life as housing, within the existing walls and with additions on top.
The strategy consisted in limiting interventions on existing enclosure and floors, add a fragmented level to the roof and puncture a few openings in the existing frame to increase the natural light penetration all the way to the centre of the volume. The new layout comprises seven units and parking spaces in the basement.
The upper four units are quite nice family units with three bedrooms, with terraces on the former roof. There is an elevator that appears to go to the second floor but these are not for the faint of heart; living, dining and kitchen are on the third floor, an upside down plan that gives the living spaces the best views and open space.
Given that the wall on the corridor side is blank without windows, I wonder if they wouldn't have been wiser carrying the elevator up to the third floor and putting a corridor there, although they would have lost a chunk of saleable area. I would have thought that aging boomer market would demand it, but then these are three bedroom family units. I guess the boomers will buy on the ground floor.
Notwithstanding the minor cavil about the elevator (taking the stairs is good for you too) the Monument project is a great example of adaptive reuse, and how those old wood buildings (and there new descendants) can do just about anything.