Our task was to balance a multi-use program on a very challenging constrained site. In the process, the building and the site merge to create a kind of neighbourhood “Gateway”, transforming this eastern corner of Railtown into a special place for residents and workers to enjoy and visitors to ponder before exploring the rest of the neighbourhood.
The proposed building function includes a series of light industrial, commercial, retail and storage uses that front onto Alexander Street. Providing a pleasant pedestrian experience from the sidewalk is a primary objective of the urban design treatment along the street front. In an effort to create a more dynamic streetscape, a number of landscape design elements will be introduced: segmental paving, along the sidewalk, rows of new street trees and the addition an exterior stair punctuating the building ‘prow’ to emphasize the site’s industrial and nautical history.