Home / Tech News / This super-narrow building is a unique use for a vacant scrap of land in downtown Kitchener

This super-narrow building is a unique use for a vacant scrap of land in downtown Kitchener

Construction will soon begin on what’s believed to be the region’s thinnest building. Once complete, the building along King Street in downtown Kitchener, Ont., will be about three meters wide and will have space for two residential units and office space. 

Once complete, the building will have 2 residential units and office space.

Foundation of a very narrow building.

Over the next few months, people coming to downtown Kitchener, Ont., will notice the construction of a very unique building.

Right away people will notice its narrow foundation, which has already been poured. Once complete, the freestanding building — located on King Street between Benton and Queen — will be no wider than three metres.

Sean O’Neil with Elev8 Properties Inc., told CBC News he wanted to bring something new to the downtown core.

“It presents a unique opportunity as well as a challenge,” he said. “It’ll be eye catching and it’s something different and that’s part of what drew us to it.”

Doug McIntosh, director of projects and a partner with Neo Architectures, said the building is so narrow because it is an infill lot, which is a form of housing development that makes use of vacant city lots to create denser neighbourhoods and lessen urban sprawl.

A rendering of a building expected to be constructed.

“There is an ability for somebody to build right beside us,” McIntosh said.

Once complete, O’Neil said the building will have space for two residential units and office space, which could also be used for retail.

McIntosh said he and his team have worked on many projects that require problem solving, but nothing like this particular building.

McIntosh told CBC News that while the outside of the building will be around three metres wide, the interior will only be around two-and-a-half metres.

“Coming up with the design plan that works in a narrow space was not the biggest challenge. The biggest challenge is construction,” he said.

And the building being three storeys tall creates another unique challenge: wind.

“You have a building that doesn’t have enough width to support any wind load that’s applied to the side of it. Imagine the side of the building as a big sail,” McIntosh said.

Two men in front of a construction site.

O’Neil said the architects found a way for the sail-like building to stand without support from the building beside it, but it wasn’t an easy task.

“The engineer described it as trying to stand a piece of paper up on its side. It was very long, it’s 132 feet long. It’s very narrow and it’s very tall,” he said.

“There was a lot of careful engineering to get this designed and to be able to build it.”

O’Neil said Elev8 Properties anticipates the building will be complete by fall 2023.


Carmen Groleau


Carmen Groleau is a reporter with CBC Kitchener-Waterloo.

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

Check Also

Solar storm expected to bring spectacular northern lights to Prairies

Christmas lights might not be the only thing lighting up these dark December nights, as …