The Evergreen Brick Works project transforms an underused deteriorating industrial site in the City of Toronto’s Don Valley into a regionally important, environmentally based community landmark to engage visitors in diverse experiences connected to nature and the city. The LEED Platinum Certified Centre for Green Cities is the only new building on the site. It incorporates a welcome centre, retail and amenity space, administrative offices, and workspace for the programme partners.
To capture the spirit of the historic site and its industrial heritage, the Centre for Green Cities knits the new building into and around the existing elements. Old brick walls, steel structures, and metal sheds are retained and define the footprint of the building. Public functions – event spaces and classrooms – are on the ground floor, immersed in the character of those existing structures. The second floor has a wrap-around balcony, occupying the space between an existing brick wall and the cantilevered floors above. As an educational institute focused on outdoor education, the balcony offers exterior access to second floor classrooms as well as to Evergreen’s offices on the third floor, while providing an elevated view of both the Brickworks site and the visitor welcome centre.