Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto is an environmental community center that has transformed the former Don Valley Brick Works factory into a showcase for urban sustainability. The mostly outdoor 12-acre site features a restored park and examples of green design, urban farming and much more. Welcoming visitors to the community center is an eye-popping, bright green hut, built from a shipping container and other reclaimed parts salvaged from the brickyard. Designed and built by Levitt Goodman Architects, the Brickworks Welcome Hut is serving as a temporary orientation center for visitors and is built with the same focus on sustainable building as the rest of the site.
For the Welcome Hut, Levitt Goodman repurposed a 20 foot shipping container and painted it bright green, which is Evergreen’s signature color. Two barn doors on either side open the space up to welcome visitors in from either direction and a bump out window box adds an interesting architectural element, not to mention a cool place to put some more plants. A scupper on the roof directs rainwater down a chain and into a rain barrel on the side of the hut.
The ramps, deck, doors and internal walls and floors are made from TimberSIL, which is a new and non-toxic alternative to pressure treated wood. TimberSIL uses a sodium-silicate based process that makes the wood impermeable without leaching chemicals into the ground. Levitt Goodman also collaborated with furniture-craftsman Andrew Reesor and a group of grade 10 students to design and construct furniture out of reclaimed shipping pallets. Together, they built an interior bench that doubles as a storage box as well as six stools that can be put together to create a long bench. Finally, old electrical boxes were salvaged and installed on the ceiling of the hut as decoration.
After the official visitors welcome center is constructed, the Welcome Hut will be converted into a warming spot and a hot beverage kiosk for skaters in the winter and an information kiosk in the warm months.
Images ©Ben Rahn / A-Frame