w/ SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture + Building
Role: Community-Engaged Design Lead, Permits and Approvals, Construction Documents and Admin.

The Blue Wave

Location: St. Stephen’s House, Kensington Market, Toronto

Sustainable was approached to design this much-needed shade structure for the front facade of St. Stephen’s Community House in Kensington Market, and we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to empower the community and promote community-engaged design.

No one knows more about what St. Stephen’s needs than the members of the St. Stephen’s community themselves. With this in mind, we set up an 8-week mentorship program, inviting all members of St. Stephen’s to partake in the design process.

Through brainstorming, physical modelling, and digital 3D modelling, many options were explored, addressing themes of sun-shading angles, materials, rain water protection & collection, structure, colour, form, and microclimate. By using a free computer modelling software called SketchUp, community members were able to put their designs into action and to visualize them in context.

Our participants enjoyed the workshops, the sense of authorship, and the opportunity to contribute to the design in a meaningful and impactful way. They hope to pass on their knowledge and experiences to others in the community. Today, the Blue Wave is fully realized, and stands proudly in Kensington Market.

East Scarborough Storefront

Location: Scarborough, ON
Renovation Area: 695m², 7,481ft²
Proposed Addition Area: 1,158m², 12,465ft²
Role: Community-Engaged Design Lead, Permits and Approvals, Construction Documents and Admin.

The East Scarborough Storefront is an ongoing example of how community work can transform and empower an entire neighbourhood.

Working collaboratively with the youth of the East Scarborough Storefront, through the Community.Design.Initiative with Storefront staff, archiTEXT Inc. and ERA Architects, Sustainable is helping to create a fully-accessible, resource and energy-efficient–phased renovation and addition strategy that will see the transformation and deep green retrofit of a former police substation into a large, accessible and green community resource centre. The work completed to date is much-loved by the community.

In true community fashion, the skills, ideas and knowledge of local residents and agency partners have helped to create an “Eco-Food Hub” and a “Sky-o-Swale”, among other endeavours. As part of the overall revitalization, these lay the foundations for various community-based sport, environmental, and food-oriented initiatives. The Storefront has been facilitating the work of agencies and residents in the Neighbourhood Improvement Area of Kingston Galloway Orton Park (KGO) since 2001. Their real strength is actively listening to the community and developing structures to support the community’s ideas, and Sustainable is proud to lend a helping hand–as an ongoing partner. We are happy to be part of the Storefront family.

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