Retrofitting a historic building for modern use
The Taku Inn is a 1950s era landmark building that sits proudly at the corner of Main Street and 4th Avenue in the City of Whitehorse, Yukon. During its life, the building has operated as a hotel, flower shop, restaurant and a lively tavern among other ventures. In 2007, Taku Investments Inc. purchased the building and assessed various development options including complete demolition. Although the Taku Inn was at the end of its normal service life, the owners recognized the inherent value of the building structure and in lieu of demolishing the building and starting new, they opted to retrofit the Taku Inn.
Designers worked to maintain as much of the existing historical building as possible, while retrofitting it for modern use. Many of the post and beams visible today date back to the original 1958 structure. By salvaging the building, the owners diverted approximately 421,000 kg of building material from the landfill site. Structural design included raising the building and seismic upgrades as part of the reuse of the building shell. This significant challenge of reduced available services space for mechanical and electrical equipment and systems distribution spurred creative solutions from the project team.
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