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Architect Reno Piccini is excited about transforming the tired Building 13 into a sleek, contemporary work space

THE ARCHITECTURE OF INNOVATION Cobourg’s Venture 13 will transform a decaying town building into a hive of creativity BY DENNY MANCHEE


might give pause at the idea of a new innovation hub in Building 13 of Cobourg’s Northam Industrial Park, but the Venture 13 business incubator has all the hallmarks of a game-changer for the town, starting with an elegant, light-filled space. “It’s a great building, originally built by the military in the 1950s, and it has a bit of design flair,” says architect Reno Piccini, who’s designing the renovations to 739 D’Arcy St. “The attention to detail for a building of this era – like the reverse cantilever canopies – is special. I have the original construction drawings, but haven’t been able to find out who designed it yet.”

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The 30,000 square foot, two-storey structure is long, lean and lined with windows – that actually open – facing Cobourg Community Centre and its large green spaces to the east and mature trees to the west. Tenants who want to grab a work-out can pop across the street, and those who want to bash around ideas outside can sit in the shade of maples or on the patio attached to the kitchen and lunchroom. The concept for this type of innovation hub has played out brilliantly in other locations: Communitech in Waterloo, the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto, the Enterprise Centre in Collingwood, the Cube in Peterborough. The idea is to offer affordable start-up space for small entrepreneurs and

Profile for Watershed Magazine

Watershed magazine Fall 2017  

Life in Northumberland, Prince Edward County and Quinte

Watershed magazine Fall 2017  

Life in Northumberland, Prince Edward County and Quinte