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Originally built in 1836, 169 King Street East is a 3-storey commercial warehouse in the oldest known standing row of buildings in Toronto. The building is most recognized for housing the Daily Leader newspaper, a driving economic force in the mid-to-late 19th Century, and is located in the Moss Park neighbourhood, near St. Lawrence Market and St. James Park. The building proudly represents the district’s architectural typology, having exposed red brickwork, a recessed entrance, and a glazed store front.
A former restaurant, the second floor space is now home to kg&a, a full service PR agency for the design and real estate industries. kg&a wished to relocate from their current studio space to a more prominent location that could provide a dynamic work environment tailored to the firm’s needs, and host a wide variety of events.
The existing interior space contains a glass encased steel stair with timber treads, exposed original brick walls, original operable windows, a slanted interior window, double height ceilings complete with skylights, and an original working steel hoist beam. dpai was commissioned to design a space that enables kg&a’s flexible and collaborative work style, while functionally and aesthetically aligning with the firm’s creative philosophy.
The existing space provided a textured, timeless, minimalist palette that both architect and client agreed to emphasize. dpai created a variety of work zones including a board room and a pitch room with floor-to-ceiling glass partitions to allow privacy for phone calls and breakout meetings away from the main work area. Two powder rooms were built adjacent to a new compact kitchenette in the rear half of the space. The kitchenette opens onto an informal lounge area, ideal for parties and events. The long touch-down station alongside the lounge space was paired with lockable storage and designed to provide additional temporary work spaces.
The focal point of the room, is the feature custom pendant light fixture by Toronto’s Lightmaker Studio, intimately suspended over a brightly-upholstered, modular, custom sofa set that was designed low to the floor to accentuate the soaring height of the ceiling. The blackened brass of the pendant echoes the hoist beam above, which lent a helpful hand in the fixture’s installation.