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Victoria, BC

The Ironworks mixed-use project, completed in 2020, contributes to the eclectic fabric of Victoria’s Old Town district by providing high-quality commercial spaces and eighty-eight studio and one-bedroom residences. The project captures the history of the Albion Iron Works Company that existed close to this site in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Specifically, the architectural features incorporated into the design pay homage to this history through the use of weathering steel cladding, iron canopies, and rich detailing including wrought iron grates at street level. The gracious landscaping amenities at the raised courtyard level offer a soft counterpoint to the hardness of the surrounding structures and provides an internal focal point for the resident community. The building includes one level of underground parking and a concrete podium that supports five stories of wood frame construction above. The high-performance building envelope includes insulation layers on both sides of the exterior sheathing and a permeable membrane to let the assembly breathe. The simple form of the building required great care and attention to the detailing including deep returns at the punched windows, a seismic break at the glazed bridge between the two residential blocks, and thermal breaks at the residential balconies. Close detailing was also required to capture and direct runoff from the weathering steel cladding as the materials initially oxidize (rusts) to form a highly durable and protective patina. This was celebrated at street level where water captured from the building face is allowed to run over portions of exposed concrete, staining it a deep red over time.

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