Creative Spirit Art Centre
A Studio & Gallery for Creative Spirits
Creative Spirit Art Centre provides a place for people with disabilities, to make, exhibit and sell their art and to integrate these artists into the mainstream arts community. The new space consisted of two retail stores located in a 1940’s retail building. The work stripped the existing building back to the original structure and provided new insulation, finishes and storefront. The new electrical and mechanical systems included a heat recovery ventilator and an on-demand hot water tank. The centre is both a gallery and studio so the design had to mediate between the open, public nature of a gallery and the intimate, familiar spaces of an art studio. This was done by bringing generous amounts of light in through the many windows and the warm wood finishes of the floor and cabinetry. In their previous location, there was a backyard that was a calm setting surrounded by nature. This present location did not have a backyard so the space was expanded by taking a stair up through the roof, providing an outdoor roof deck.
A design challenge was finding the parts of the zoning by-laws and building code that would allow for an interior open staircase and an outdoor roof deck.