Location: Ancaster, ON
Client: City of Hamilton
Architect of Record: Invizij Architects
The Ancaster Memorial School, built in the mid-1940s, occupies a special place in the hearts of many local residents. While the idea of turning the redundant old school site into an arts and cultural centre enjoyed universal support, there was a heated debate about whether to renovate or demolish and build anew.
The challenges of renovation include a highly irregular site boundary with a 3-metre drop in grade from front to back of the existing building and the many interior levels of an old school. Invizij’s solution manages to preserve most of the existing building, including the iconic stone portal, while adding a modern addition to the south and west side. Four levels of the facility can be reached by one elevator. The new and renovated facility will house a 450-seat theatre auditorium, a 150-seat multi-purpose studio, visual arts classrooms, and music and dance studios.