Nature's Millwork is a historical building located in Paisley, Ontario, that has been around for well over 100 years. As a deactivated silo and grain mill, the owners were looking for another use for the building, that now is the home of a local products store, but also keep the same looks and essence that the building has carried for such long time.
This proposal intends to deliver a completely different use for the building with a focus on adaptive reuse, transforming it into a small community center for the town. This new purpose will be complete with spaces such as art galleries, a cafe, a recreational area, and a book store, along with their local products. What was a one-floor silo, turns into a 3-storey building with added fenestration, keeping the same exterior cladding to maintain the heritage look.
As seen on the site plan, the greyed-out area is the existing building that will eventually be renovated into an apartment building for rental purposes. This proposed design also aims to welcome and accommodate the tenants, as they will have some sort of entertainment right at their homes, such as lessons, workshops, or having fun at the recreational floor.
The main floor introduces a renovated local store with more retail space, a cafeteria, a patio, and a universal washroom. As for means of egress and access to upper floors, two fire-rated stairwells and an elevator are also added to the building.
The second floor presents a multi purpose space, functioning as an art gallery, a presentation auditorium, or a workshop/teaching classroom. A storage room is provided to store all the equipment not being used, as well as one washroom per gender.
The third floor consists of a recreational space, with many entertainment features such as video games, arcades, board games, a pool table and table tennis. Also provided with one washroom per gender.
As one of the requirements set by the client, the building shape and overall appearance should not diverge from the existing aspects. However, the existing building area makes it difficult to include fixtures that would be necessary for the proposed building programme, especially fixtures that serve for vertical travelling. To solve this problem, the building area had to be increased with the inclusion of a stairwell, placed at the back of the building. While not affecting much of the building appearance, the attachment had to be properly enclosed to meet the Building Code and fire rating requirements. With the inclusion of another exterior wall at the north face of the building, the existing exterior wall is modified to a simple interior wall that encloses the new stairwell and the new washroom area also attached to the same building face. Subsequently, the new exterior walls have the same type of core structures (wood studs) but a different cladding material, introducing Aluminum Composite Panels that blends in and contrasts with the existing material. Regarding the roofing, a cathedral ceiling shape on the third floor matches the style of the recreational room on the same floor, as well as the construction aspects and materials.