The Seagram Lofts

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The Seagram Lofts

In 1998, Kiwi Newton Construction was entrusted with converting the Seagrams Distilleries in Waterloo, Ontario into 105 luxury loft condominiums. The property features one 11 storey building and one 7 storey building totalling 170,000sf. The project consisted of two historic whiskey barrel warehouses originally set up to store 7000 barrels of whiskey, distilled in adjacent buildings. The Seagrams barrel warehouse was left for sale. Kiwi Newton Construction converted these two warehouses into luxury loft condominiums with a total project value of $24 million. The buildings are essentially new, while at the same time addressing the requirement to respect the heritage aspects and retain the original 4 whythe brick façades on the ends of the two buildings, which Kiwi Newton delivered to the delight of the City of Waterloo.

The buildings consisted of brick façades and timber racking inside. The timber racking was carefully removed in phases, sorted, de-nailed and stored in fillet stacks on site. As each phase of removals was completed, a phase of foundations followed each new structure to keep the façades standing. Once the first phase of demolition and structural construction was complete, then the second phase of demolition and construction was completed. Each building required 2 phases in this manner.

Following, the side walls were either removed or required openings to be cut into them. The bricks were sorted and good ones were cleaned and kept for reconstruction for new exterior walls, corner details, parking garages and for interior finish features. No new bricks were purchased as they were all recycled from the site. The timber from the racking was milled in an onsite mill shop and made into doors, trim, stairs, railings, furniture, wall paneling and outdoor trellises and parking garages. No new timber was purchased as it was all recycled from the site. The project took 2.5 years of construction. The new structure consists of structural steel and precast hollow core slabs, whereby the structural shell was internally braced and tied back to support the historic façade walls.

An efficient 4 pipe water/glycol central heating and cooling system was utilized to provide heating and cooling with air handlers and ducting in each individual condo unit. The units were mostly 2 storey loft units with a two storey high great room. Individuality was put into each unit while all bearing the same hallmark of Seagram trim, doors, stairs and railings. Plus, top floor penthouse units were single storey and totally customized to owner specifications. The entire project is unique, a work of art and is now known as a very prestigious, award winning condominium in Waterloo, Ontario.

This project was awarded “The Urbanization Award’ by the City of Waterloo.

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