BARRISTON

OFFICE

LOCATION: Barrie, Ontario

ARCHITECT: LINEVISION Architects

DESIGN LEADERSHIP: Michael Poitras, Principal-in-Charge of Design

DESIGN COMPETITION: Design Competition: Invited design/build/finance competition – Second Place

CLIENT: Barriston Law LLP

STATISTICS:

  • Storeys: 2 + 2 below grade
  • Total area: 16,000 ft2 (1,486 m2)
  • Below grade parking: 109
MATERIALS:

  • Honed grey limestone
  • Black zinc fascias
  • Prefinished black curtain wall + horizontal wood battens set between the glass
  • Brushed stainless steel planter boxes
  • White & yellow painted soffits
  • Poured-in-place concrete & composite wood deck terraces
  • Black prefinished metal rooftop equipment screens
  • Outdoor landscaping
GENERAL PROGRAM:

  • Large reception area
  • Offices (partners + senior staff)
  • Open concept offices (staff)
  • Boardrooms
  • Copy, print room & mail room
  • Washrooms
  • Outdoor terraces next to boardrooms (clients)
  • Outdoor terrace (staff)
COST: Withheld

Located across the street from the historic, heavily textured, grey limestone clad Simcoe County Courthouse of 1842 (Barrie Courthouse), the new home for Barriston Law expresses itself as a low, two- storey, contemporary office building, set within the context of historic brick houses to either side. Cantilevering over the sidewalk from the corner of Mulcaster and McDonald Streets, the building’s roof boldly juts out over Mulcaster, announcing its entrance.

Clad in the same limestone as the Simcoe County Courthouse, although using a smooth, honed finish, the building immediately distinguishes itself from its historic brick neighbours, while making a direct and obvious connection to the courthouse across the street. By introducing a series of black elements (fascia, columns, windows and mechanical roof screens) the seriousness of the legal work practised within is made abundantly clear. To counterbalance the daily stresses associated with litigation by lawyers, staff and clients alike, the colour yellow (a hopeful, positive colour) had been strategically introduced throughout the building. Pops of yellow can be found in the building’s exterior soffit skylight frames, bright yellow flowers in the brushed stainless parking deck screens and on interior demising walls.

The building also offers two different terraces for both clients and staff to use. On the north side are a series of small terraces located adjacent to meeting rooms, where clients have the opportunity to step away from the legal process, go outside and take a breath of fresh air to de-stress. On the south side can be found a large terrace for staff to use for meetings, to have lunch or to decompress from the pressures of long arduous work days.

The entire building sits on two storeys of underground parking, fronting onto neighbouring backyards. Clad in horizontal brushed stainless steel planter boxes placed on the south and west façades to take advantage of the best growing light, these boxes screen the parked cars within. Besides being visually pleasing, the yellow flowers add an environmentally conscious element, as they absorb carbon dioxide emissions from the cars in exchange for oxygen. But perhaps more importantly, their textural beauty makes for a wonderful backyard neighbour.