Toronto-based inclusive design consultancy, Human Space, part of BDP, has been commissioned to make Canada’s federally-owned heritage buildings more accessible for people with disabilities while preserving buildings’ historical integrity.
The 2.5-year project funded by Accessibility Standards Canada will research, propose and test new ideas.
Human Space will study national and global precedents and conduct on-site workshops with people who use mobility devices, are hard of hearing or deaf, have low vision or are blind, among other barriers.
It will test solutions with user groups and write a report on how practical conversions can be carried out. A national outreach campaign will invite participation from disability groups, heritage professionals and other interested parties.
“Modifying heritage buildings while preserving their historical integrity is difficult work. However, with collective discussion and thought, we will find solutions that will enable access, while also responsibly caring for these important places,” said Human Space director and architect, Jesse Klimitz.
Also participating are KITE Research Institute, Easter Seals Canada, The Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals, Canadian Disability Foundation, Phil Goldsmith Architect and National Trust for Canada.
The project begins this month.