The Tower Automotive Building and its surrounding lands in Toronto’s Junction Triangle have been vacant since 2006, lying fallow at the epicenter of a once vital manufacturing district. The ‘Draft Building’ will stand as a critical part of an ambitious redevelopment project, Lower JCT (Lower Junction). The Lower Junction includes the revitalization of the historic tower into the Museum of Contemporary Art’s permanent home, and the rejuvenation of 8 acres of land into a mixed use neighbourhood that will provide space for 2,500 jobs and 1,000 new residents. Central to the revitalization of this area is the accommodation of dynamic employment uses.
Working in association with Peck Architecture, the Draft Building is situated immediately to the west and south of the heritage tower. Within its 3 storeys, the building will house a mixture of industrial and commercial uses, including the manufacturing operations of Indie Ale House, a long standing Junction neighbourhood brewery. The ground and second floors will feature production spaces, a large tap room and restaurant, a barrel room and private dining space. A dynamic cantilevered dining space hovers over the sidewalk below. The upper floor of the building houses a flexible office and event space complemented with generous outdoor terraces. At grade, a large outdoor patio flanks the open space to the north, blending the brewery tap room with a new park.
Referencing the industrial past of the site, the building’s design incorporates metal cladding, strategically perforated to provide glimpses of interior life. A two-storey fermentation tank gallery showcases the towering stainless steel vats. Integrated façade “art boxes” will provide curatorial spaces for changing installations. The Draft Building’s poignant combination of program celebrates the beauty of skilled craft.