Once an historic grand hotel, the Royal Connaught has found new life as a luxury condominium. The existing 13 storey, 1916 and 1931 Edwardian style structures have been renovated, while future phases will see additions of new modern, residential towers. Situated at the heart of Hamilton's Downtown within the historic Gore Park the project has been a catalyst for Hamilton's downtown revitalization. The project has utilized precast structure, cladding and renovation of the historic facades using concrete. The Residences of the Royal Connaught have also received numerous awards but most recently the 2018 Ontario Concrete Awards for Architectural Merit.
AquaBlu was one of the first buildings in Ontario to be constructed to the new Ontario Building Code allowing 5 and 6 storey wood buildings. It's contemporary design features floor to ceiling windows, balconies and terraces looking out on to the lake, and notably distinct colour palette for which the building can be identified by. The project was also the 2016 Ontario Home Builders Association Most Outstanding Mid Rise building. AquaBlu was extremely well received and has set the benchmark for the many future developments coming to the area and will serve as a landmark development to the town of Grimsby.
The Royal Connaught has been host to Prime Ministers, Royalty and Hollywood's elite. Built in 1916, the Connaught remained a hotel until its closure in 2004. For more than 10 years, the building sat vacant, until June 2014 when two local developers championed a project that would become the catalyst for urban rejuvenation in the heart of Hamilton. The development team embraced its history to revitalize this iconic building into elegant condominium residences with space for retail, restaurants and cafés along the streetscape. The exterior facades and interior lobby spaces have been fully restored.
The AquaBlu Condominiums project celebrates the innovative and beautiful use of IEFS and serves as a benchmark of excellence. With an abundance of glass, contemporary detailing and lively aesthetics, AquaBlu is a premium lakefront development. Large windows are evident throughout the project, and are not limited to only the street faces but all sides. Balconies and terraces have been provided to add interest and depth to the façade. Set in a growing lakeside community, the façade design is a continuation of its lakeside locale using textures and colours associated with the environment. The flexibility of colour choices allowed by the EIFS panels resulted in a distinct colour palette of blue, white, beige, and gray being representative of water, sand, earth, and stone respectively.
“This is an exemplary project. It is one of the first wood frame buildings built in Ontario under the new code that permits wood framing above four storeys. It has contributed positively to its site and surrounding area. The design displays and incorporates multiple EIFS finishes and textures in a visually compelling and technically sound manner. The AquaBlu is truly a landmark EIFS project from a variety of important vantage points.”