Two separate building projects on the Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site were undertaken for the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), three years apart. A 19th century residence (Building 54) is proposed for reuse as an Executive Conference Centre, and an early 20th century Root and Seed Building (Building 56) is proposed for reuse as an Office Facility. MTBA received the highest level of excellence in a review for this work, from AAFC.
The completed detailed report/studies are full preparations for proceeding with significant projects for these buildings. Highlighted report elements include: existing documentation review, building investigation, recording and analysis (including site & landscape, various building systems, circulation and accessibility), building rehabilitation/restoration recommendations, programming research and analysis for proposed new use, space planning, site planning and preliminary design, feasibility evaluation (including heritage, logistics and new system requirements, and costs), and a Class ‘D’ cost estimate. Numerous stakeholders and advisers were consulted to increase viability.
Originally constructed in 1888 as the Chief Agriculturalist’s Residence and one of several recognized landmarks on this picturesque site. It is a 2 ½-storey, wood frame Queen Anne structure executed in a well-crafted Shingle Style. The existing 6,000 sq. ft. structure is recommended for restoration, rehabilitation and adaptive use as an Executive Conference Centre. A 13,000 sq. ft. addition including the main conference hall and other modern amenities would be included, bringing the total Centre to approximately 19,000 sq. ft.
Constructed in 1920, is the original Root and Seed Building, is essentially a neo-Shingle Style storage shed. Its distinctive roof cupolas and consistent architectural style with dormers, bracketed eaves and multi-paned windows, have made it a much-loved element of the Farm. The 2 ½-storey wood frame structure is over 19,000 sq. ft. plus basement. The MTBA report recommended a comprehensive rehabilitation, restoration and adaptive use as Class “A” Office Space meeting government environmental standards. Other design elements and recommended upgrades include: fully occupied lower level space; seismic upgrades; ductless split air conditioning heat pump and energy recovery ventilation systems; maintain and finish open-structure second floor with opening of original cupola vent shafts to convert to light shafts; new entry and balcony additions; all new PWGSC-standard office facilities plus new “green’ facilities such as protected bicycle parking and showers for staff; and re-landscaping to respect the “model farm” site concept and enhance the immediate surroundings with a “courtyard green” campus element with adjacent buildings.