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Bloc_10, Winnipeg, Canada

Thursday 05 Jan 2012

Shaking up the white box

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A study in how a box design can be both simple and complex 

Bloc_10 is a condominium project situated on a busy traffic corridor in Winnipeg’s postwar neighbourhood of River Heights. Starting from a standard, three storey vertical volume, the individual floor plates of each walk-up are strung together along a common core, then staggered across the site to provide unique compositions and a multiplicity of views. All units have access to full north and south exposure, typically with an additional east or west face, making eight of ten into three-sided corner suites. At the project’s outset, the client expressed a desire for simple wood-frame construction and an uncomplicated building envelope.

A ‘white box’ concept arose from the need for low entry level price-points, as well as flexibility in how the units could be sold and marketed. Strict zoning setbacks established the initial allowable built volume, which was then carved back to allow for vehicular movement and outdoor areas, leaving a screen wall in its place. Inside, a common service core contains all mechanical services and circulation space in the building, freeing the living areas to accommodate a wide range of layouts.

Dotted across each elevation are 6’ (1.8m) deep cantilevered projections that extend the floor plates on alternating levels. Intermediate decks criss-cross the entire façade, shielded from the street by a layer of wooden slats that form a protective veil responding to the amount of traffic driving past the site. Bloc_10 is a study in how a box design can be both simple and complex. The standard three storey walk-up building typology is re-imagined, distributing ten original layouts across and through the site.

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Value 0(m€)
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5468796 Architecture Inc.

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