Fairbanks Morse Lofts

Saskatoon, SK


SEPW received a 2010 Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Architectural Heritage Award of Excellence for this first of its kind residential conversion of a former tractor manufacturing facility in downtown Saskatoon. A total of twelve loft units were inserted on the upper three floors of this heritage-listed building. A new lobby for residents (accessed from the rear of the building) and a reconfigured retail outlet (accessed from the street) were placed on the main floor. A new elevator reaching from basement to the roof was installed as part of the retrofit. The basement was renovated to provide an amenity space for the residents, a temporary-stay, hotel-style unit that could be reserved for guests of the residents, a storage area, and the main mechanical room. A rooftop terrace was provided for the use of all residents. Parking was provided in new stand-alone garages on site and in a small surface parking lot accessed from the alley.

The Architectural Heritage Society of Saskatchewan praised this project for its sensitive renovation, which maintained the existing character defining elements, and replicated those that could not be maintained. For instance, new fiberglass windows in the color and style of the existing windows were installed to maintain the character of the building while simultaneously improving the energy efficiency of the building. The awards committee noted that, “in accordance with Parks Canada Guidelines, the principle of minimal intervention was followed. There was no attempt to restore the building interior to its original appearance, rather, the space was modernized and made commercially viable by the sensitive addition of new elements, including an elevator and roof top deck….This is a great precedent that we hope will inspire future projects.”