The College of New Caledonia (CNC) Technical Trades project is an example of modest reuse.
North America is covered in ‘big-box’ stores that line our highways. The project involved the creative re-purposing of an existing Canadian Tire ‘big-box’ retail store into an integral part of the established CNC campus. The budget was modest and materials were chosen for their practical durability and overall effect. Wood was used as a means of humanizing the project and to offset the sterile and cold environment of the original retail store. The project combines flexible learning spaces with a variety of specialized technical trades’ workshop areas for electronics, wood technology, and automotive training. The particular challenges included the development of simple architectural strategies to enhance the quality of the interior spaces with minimal interventions to the existing envelope. The plan is organized to support maximum flexibility and accommodate future programs. Central to the scheme is a central day lit café and gathering space designed to encourage positive interaction between faculty, staff, and students.