Rudy Hulst Commons
Rudy Hulst Commons is a mixed-use housing development, located in East Hamilton, with an aim to create elegant, safe and dignified living spaces as affordable housing. Working with Indwell, a Hamilton non-profit which helps to create affordable housing communities for people seeking health, wellness and belonging, the project began work in 2014 and was completed in the spring of 2016. This 7 million dollar construction cost/ 10 million dollar project cost building was covered through Indwell’s fundraising, mortgage financing through the Hamilton Community Foundation, and 5.7 million dollars in federal, provincial and municipal forgivable loans.
The building’s structure is poured and masonry concrete with pre-cast concrete slabs. Clad in a pattern of charcoal and white aluminum panels, the windows are set in a 60cm pattern which moves between floors, creating a dynamic façade. Mustard yellow spandrel panels at the windows accentuate this pattern and the wood-grain Trespa panels at the notch, rooftop patio & soffits soften and add to the façade’s modern elegance. A graphite masonry & glass base makes the upper levels appear to hover over the entry level. The colours from the façade are introduced again inside the building along with a palette of vibrant colours to create accents within the apartments and office spaces.
The six-storey building consists of 47 one and two-bedroom apartments, a computer lab/sunroom on the top floor, a new head office for Indwell on the ground floor and lower level, and Main Street retail/office space. It was paramount for the building to be accommodating for all people, therefore ten of the apartments are barrier free, five of which comply with the City of Hamilton’s Barrier Free Design Guidelines. The overall project has a 3,136m2 GFA.
The building makes excellent use of daylight both in the apartment and office spaces as well as in the basement due to a large, south-facing light well. The building was designed to be energy-efficient while at the same time including central air conditioning for tenants. It creates an example of appropriate density along Main Street East in anticipation of the LRT station which will be adjacent, when completed.
Awards: Award of Excellence in the Mixed Use/Commercial category by the Hamilton Burlington Society of Architects
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Completion: May 2016