Canadian Pop artist Charles Pachter, made famous by his imagery of Canadian moose, decided to live, work, and sell his art in one location, on the site of his Toronto studio, a narrow 6 x 30 metre infill, in a Victorian residential neighbourhood, of Toronto’s Chinatown.
Moose Factory, the original studio, a lane shed at the rear of the site, was left in tact. For Pachter Hall, the contemporary addition, Teeple Architects designed a set of three transparent, horizontal, stacked and stepped extruded tubes, shifted for maximum light penetration; programmed as the ground floor studio, second storey gallery and Pachter’s loft, on top.
Photographs courtesy of Tom Arban.
Transparent front and rear facades exhibit the public functions of the program: the daily activities of the artist are on display. The private functions located in the middle of the tubes, generate their light from above. A courtyard connects Moose Factory to Pachter Hall and functions as the light well.
The contemporary infill of this Brownfield site brings a novel form and program into the homogeneous neighbourhood. The contrast between Pachter Hall and its Victorian neighbours draws additional attention to the new structure, and addresses Toronto’s need for residential densification and diversification.
Framed on the west side by Spadina Avenue, Toronto’s first Jewish quarter, now the main artery for Chinatown; and on the east, by a new contemporary architecture cultural quarter: Will Alsop’s pencil box for the Ontario College of Art and Design, parked next to Frank Gehry’s hull for the Art Gallery of Ontario: Pachter Hall is the dynamic link.
Teeple Architects, project team on this project: