When the Paisley Mill was introduced, the structure's distinct blue siding and contrasting red trim were the first features I noticed. Additionally, I was drawn to the views offered by the forest behind the building. In my proposal, my overarching aim was to find solutions that allow for both existing conditions to shine.
An adaptive reuse solution for the mill was the goal of this project. I initially wanted to introduce a program that would be completely off-kilter such as a dark and grungy night club or some other kind of music venue, however I ultimately found that a general purpose event venue was better suited to the mill and my goals.
The mill's primary access was originally located on the building's east side. Wanting to create a more cohesive front elevation with the existing adjacent building, I moved the main entrance to the front, facing Bruce Rd. 1.
The building's east side features a stone walkway that mimics the stone pattern of the existing foundation of the mill and its adjacent building. This material brings natural texture back into the site while calling on the materials of the existing structures.
Most event spaces are infrequently used. Given this, I wanted to incorporate spaces that could be used by locals on a regular basis. Additionally, I wanted to have spaces that were flexible enough to host small local events, as well as large ones.
The ground floor features a café and exterior deck. The café is meant to be a cozy space to lounge and enjoy views through the building's original windows - all of which have been maintained in the re-design. The café is accessed via a corridor divided by archways, creating a dramatic approach and sense of separation and enclosure from the lobby.
The second floor is the largest and most flexible gathering space. After arriving by stair or elevator, a corridor divided by archways opens to an expansive 2-storey area directly facing the adjacent forest. Although the original structural columns have been kept, the addition offers a large clear space for dancing, performance stages, or any other number of events. One of the building's two bars is located on this level.
The third floor is the smallest, but features the greatest elevation for looking out to the adjacent forest through the building's southern facing curtain wall. Alternatively, patrons can look down at the second floor through the open 2-storey space. This level does not have any archways; the building's original wood rafters and structure are left exposed and are incorporated into the addition. This level contains the second bar.
I focused on balancing unique and unexpected materials and forms in this building's redesign. Initially, I saw two solutions that could apply to both material and massing: (1) match the existing conditions or (2) contrast the existing conditions.
My initial massingstrategy was to change the building's exterior minimally, and where required, design a contrasting modern-styled addition, rather than trying to match the existing form. This did not work. Further research into adaptive reuse of barns and farm structures lead me to the gable-roof forms in this proposal. The overall silhouette is still contemporary, however the pitched roof better compliments the existing structure both structurally and aesthetically.
The materials were the last to be chosen. After some direction from my instructor, I began researching cladding materials that are unique in their material reuse. The materials I settled on include burnt wood, rusted copper, and reused barn wood.
MATERIAL SELECTION PROPOSAL Aged copper panels come in shades ranging from bright teal to deep orange that have unique textural variations. This material is reminiscent of the rusted mill and silo equipment that remain within the buildings.
Burnt wood is an uncommon way of finishing wood, and its use as the primary cladding for the building's fire exit structure is a little tongue-in-cheek. Reclaimed barn wood can be used to create mosaic-like cladding. I found an example with hints of blue and copper that complimented the existing colour palette, and directly incorporated it into my design. This material could be sourced from local farms, weaving the local heritage into the mill's redesign.
- A preliminary building section has been taken through the main volume of the addition to highlight the 2-storey space and to show how the existing structure is to be preserved and attached to the addition's roof.
The initial render aims to show how the addition relates to the surrounding forested area. Being south facing, the curtain wall sees a range of sun exposure from morning to evening. From the inside, the light exposure changes in colour, intensity, and shape throughout the day as sunlight filters through the forested landscape.
Thanks for viewing my midterm proposal! I'm Vicky - a graduating Architectural Technology student at Sheridan College (Spring 2021). I am a tutor for 1st- and 2nd-year Sheridan Architectural Technology students. I also do independent architectural drafting work. I have my BSc. in Conservation and Biodiversity from the University of Toronto where I was an undergrad researcher and graphic designer. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or leave a comment below!