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Hamilton’s Pier 8 Rethinks an Industrial Port — and Master Planning

Pier 8 draws on a quartet of architecture firms to create a nuanced, unified aesthetic on Hamilton’s lakefront

By Sara Cunningham

KPMB architect Bruce Kuwabara spent his youth wheeling around Hamilton’s gritty North End neighbourhood on his bike. Today he’s drawing on the port city’s architectural language for Pier 8, a curated mixed-use master development of a historic industrial harbour.

Pier 8 Hamilton KPMB BRuce Kuwabara Omar Gandhi Superkül gh3
A South/West view of the robust development from the lake.

The KPMB team includes rising studios Omar Gandhi Architect, Superkül and gh3. Each firm is responsible for idiosyncratic brick, stone and steel buildings (think a Bier Hall, snail-shaped community hub, and richly textured residences) that pepper the pedestrian and bike-friendly waterfront community.

The team designated 40% of the site as open space, encouraging residents to spend more time outdoors.

“With KPMB acting as curator,” says Kuwabara, “our collective has designed a series of progressive, modern and ambitious buildings that stand out as individual artistic statements while remaining legible as a whole. We call this coherent diversity.”

Originally published in The Reno Issue 2018 as “True Grit.” 

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