Location: Simcoe, ON
Year of Completion: 2022
Construction Budget: $12,500,000
Architect of Record: Invizij Architects
Formerly a two-storey tavern and rooming house, in recent years The Norfolk Inn had become a neglected place of ill repute of Simcoe’s downtown BIA. Indwell purchased the building with aims to transform it into 51 one-bedroom affordable housing units and ground floor space available for commercial rental, providing a catalyst for change in the heart of downtown.
The existing structure of the basement, ground and second floors remained with an entirely new building envelope including walls, triple-glazed windows, and roofing. Partway through construction, a third floor was added when funding was available to create greater density on this busy downtown Simcoe site. The entire redevelopment was built to the Passive House standard, reducing energy my more than 50%.
The original building had a large footprint and in order to bring light into the common spaces in the middle of the ground floor, the design includes a large skylight in the middle of the roof. In order to maximize floor area, some of the units overlook this central daylit area. The goal of the design for this building is one of transformation and includes a white grid to indicate the original structure and wood paneling to soften the facades. On the corner is a large artpiece that reflects the barn quilt design common throughout Norfolk County. The quilt theme was continued throughout, with the same pattern on the wood paneling around the elevators and a replica of the exterior quilt at the main entry.