The Clarence

Kingston, ON, Canada

The new mixed-use building houses 49 apartments on the upper 7 levels with commercial/public uses on the ground floor. The building will support the attractive and vital urban life of Kingston by filling a gap in the middle of the city, completing the existing urban fabric, re-establish street-frontages whilst simultaneously providing an enclosed inner courtyard. This courtyard, or atrium, is the heart of the new building, borrowing from the traditional courtyards and carriageways of Kingston, providing a bright and semi-formal public “court” while creating a significant pedestrian connection between two of the major downtown streets.

Successful cities activate a vital urban street life by providing a tapestry of squares, parks, shops and restaurants laced together with streets and pedestrian ways. Commercial, residential and public spaces form the complex organism of a city. The urban nature of Kingston grows out of the variation of small-scale shops and bustling streets that provide opportunities for connecting, exchanging, and interacting. A lively city attracts people and supports their sense of well being which, in turn, encourages a sense of stewardship and generates beautiful situations. Dynamic urban spaces provide the social spaces in which people live and work in a creative and positive way.

The new mixed-use building houses 49 apartments on the upper 7 levels with commercial/public uses on the ground floor. The building will support the attractive and vital urban life of Kingston by filling a gap in the middle of the city, completing the existing urban fabric, re-establish street-frontages whilst simultaneously providing an enclosed inner courtyard. This courtyard, or atrium, is the heart of the new building, borrowing from the traditional courtyards and carriageways of Kingston, providing a bright and semi-formal public “court” while creating a significant pedestrian connection between two of the major downtown streets.

Setbacks over the upper floors create interesting spatial situations and a series of roof terraces, whilst helping that the building never appears unduly large. The building appears as a collage of the architectural history of Kingston; in reflecting the multiplicity of masses and volumes of the city context the new building appears as literally a “city within the city”. The complexity of the volumes, setbacks and overhangs is as articulated on the inside as it is on the outside, and the interior spaces and activities are as individual and manifold as the external appearance.

The building looks to responsibly introduce to a “green agenda” to the residential units making good use of local resources and employ a number of passive energy strategies; making best possible use of available daylight, solar energy and wherever possible natural ventilation. Together with a high performance thermal envelope it will have advanced mechanical and energy conservation systems integrating ground duct systems, buffer zones (wintergardens and atrium), thermal storage, radiant heating and cooling, and geothermal technologies.

Photos

Location

Kingston, ON, Canada

Client

Kincore Holdings Limited, Kingston

Architect

Behnisch, Werminghausen, Next Phase Studios Inc.

Address

Brock and Clarence Street
Kingston, ON
Canada

Competition

2004 Study