The McInnes Cooper Law office occupies three stories of a prominent restored heritage building in the centre of downtown Charlotte town, Prince Edward Island
The design presents a clean and light interior that provides a purposely modern counterpoint to the rough and weathered nature of the existing building shell. The clarity of the new finishes sits inconsiderate contrast to the old, an aesthetic that is exemplified as rustic pieces of the original building penetrate the calm palette of the interior. Its minimalist aesthetic is designed to be both clearly distinguishable from and subsidiary to the existing heritage skin.
A simple material palette of glass, steel and warm maple wood was employed throughout the new spaces. Raw steel elements accent public areas, adding rugged texture to an otherwise pristine palette. Exposed brick and chunky wood trusses are revealed at key locations, showcasing the unique structural elements of the original building. The interior exhibits the craft of local Island steelworkers and carpenters as these materials are intricately manufactured to fit around rough wood beams and irregular floors.
The clients’ requirement for abundant file storage in a narrow floor plate was resolved by integrating storage cabinets into the corridor design through wood surrounds that participate in the formal language of the design. Kitchenettes and other services are inset into carefully detailed wood bites. Each office has a full height wood entry that distinguishes each individual office and creates a rhythmic pattern of warm wood elements along the office corridors.
The large glazed side lights allow light to filter into the space while permitting private offices required of a law firm. Minimal linear light fixtures mounted in various configurations accent spaces and create clean ceiling lines. Other details, including the delicate frames surrounding the glazing and the flush wood base, were added to enhance the contemporary aesthetic.
Photo credit: Julian Parkinson