Dr. John M. Perkins Centre

Location: Hamilton, ON

Client: Homestead Christian Care

Year of Completion: 2012

Construction Budget: $4,263,000

Architect of Record: Invizij Architects

The Perkins Centre transformed a derelict-yet-operating nightclub and rooming house into a new community development centre and a home for forty-six individuals. The project stripped the building back to its structural elements, added a third storey, then realigned façade and interior spaces, resulting in highly usable and simple yet beautiful spaces. The building’s history is reflected in its form, along with polished original concrete floors and repurposed marble elements that turned shower partitions into windows sills.

Tenants are supported through regular programming in the community development centre, and activities organized by staff and volunteers. An elevator provides accessibility to all floors, including eight barrier-free apartments. Indoor parking for bicycles and mobility scooters encourages enables transportation. Barrier-free meeting rooms and a teaching kitchen are available for use by individuals, neighbourhood groups, and other events.

Natural light is a primary feature throughout this once-dark building. The central light well features a large-scale artistic mobile with 216 doves suspended in flight; it symbolizes hope – for individual tenants, their building, and the broader community. The light well is visible from all apartments, sharing the light and providing interconnection between the building’s private and public uses. A fresh colour palette, distinctive yet durable materials, and a detailed brick façade promote dignity and invite vibrant and diverse community interactions.

The building is 41% more efficient than baseline standards. Condensing boilers, energy-recovery ventilation, operable windows, and a well-designed building envelope are complemented by a 10kW roof-top photovoltaic array.

Project Location