NYE MANUFACTURING PLANT EXPANSION

INDUSTRIAL

LOCATION: Mississauga, Ontario

ARCHITECT:
 LINEVISION Architects

TECHNICAL DESIGN LEADERSHIP:
Michael Poitras, Principal-in-Charge

CLIENT: Nye Manufacturing Ltd.
STATISTICS:

  • No. of storeys: 2
  • Floor area (existing warehouse): 13,041 ft2 (1212m2)
  • Floor area (addition): 8,335 ft2 (774 m2)
  • Total floor area: 21,376 ft2 (1,986 m2)
  • Parking: 37 + 1 barrier-free
  • Loading docks: 3
MATERIALS:

  • Grey curtain wall
  • Vertical precast concrete panels (yellow)
  • Corrugated metal (red, orange & black)
  • Poured-in-place concrete floors
  • Grey rubber flooring
  • Maple veneered cabinetry
  • Polished stainless steel display pedestals
  • Outdoor landscaping
GENERAL PROGRAM:

  • Entrance/display space
  • Reception
  • Administration office
  • CEO’s office
  • Boardroom
  • Lunchroom
  • Roof garden/deck
  • Washrooms
COST: $3 million
COMPLETION: Project cancelled
Within an industrial park in Mississauga, Ontario, just west of the Square One Shopping Centre, is Nye Manufacturing, a company that specializes in fabricating custom attachments for excavators (buckets, shovels and claws). Their products are beautifully designed industrial tools, painted in a variety of bright colours (yellow, orange, black and red) used primarily for digging into the earth or grabbing felled trees and the like. Looking at these products in isolation (i.e. not attached to the excavator) it is easy to imagine them as the hands or feet of a “transformer” from the Hollywood blockbuster movie series.

The task we were given required us to expand the company’s concrete block industrial warehouse, to allow for new administration space, additional manufacturing space, along with a larger boardroom, CEO’s office and a lunchroom for staff.

From this task emerged the two ideas, which drove our design approach: 1. That the child-like playfulness of Nye’s products, including the colours, would become the inspiration behind the playfulness and colours we would use for the architectural forms to be developed; 2. The theme of “the machine and nature, nature and the machine” inherent with the use of these attachments, would be extended to this addition.

As such, we expanded the warehouse by abutting a series of buildings, each representing specific programs, starting at the warehouse and moving west towards Mavis Road. Each building was clad in a different industrial material, providing a distinct texture and colour, and each building was given an identifiable form, similar to their products. (warehouse = rectangle/yellow precast concrete panels; entrance = narrow rectangle/glass; administration = parallelogram/red corrugated metal).

Fronting onto Mavis Road is a red corrugated metal parallelogram containing all of the administration space. Its fully glazed façades reveal stepped floor plates and people within, setting the tone for the building to follow.

On the roof of the warehouse addition we placed the CEO’s office, boardroom and lunchroom inside tall yellow precast concrete walls, filled with grasses and trees – a nature filled oasis in the midst of an industrial park. Capping the CEO’s office and boardroom is an oddly sloped roof (orange rectangle), complete with the company’s red coloured sign, giving hierarchy to these two important spaces.

The theme of “nature and the machine” is further extended, as the ground plane running from the red administrative building to Mavis Road is covered in tall ornamental grasses. Set within this grassy surface are thin square polished stainless steel display pedestals for the colourful attachments to rest upon, advertising these products to passersby.

The completed project, when viewed from Mavis Road, is a highly sculpted, multi-coloured building integrated with nature. Its uniqueness is surprising in this rather bland context of neighbouring industrial buildings, yet perfectly suited to a company that manufactures colourful, large-scale industrial toy-like products.