ARCHITECT 5468796 Architecture Inc.
LOCATION Winnipeg, Manitoba

Bloc_10 is a condominium project situated on a busy Winnipeg corridor. Each of the 10 units is a distinct three-storey walkup with expans ive interior spaces that traverse the site as they ascend each level. This allows occupants to have views in at least two directions within their unit, as well as making eight of the 10 units into three-sided corner suites. Conceived as “white box” layouts, a strict service core contains all mechanical services and circulation space. This frees the open living spaces to accommodate a wide range of layout opportunities.

Dotted across each elevation are cantilevered projections that extend the floor plates for a variety of expanded living spaces. Alternating with the projections are intermediate decks criss-crossing the faade, shielded from the street by a vertical wood screen. The standard three-storey walkup building typology is distorted–to instead provide 10 unique layouts that are distributed across and through the site.

JC: It is an extremely fresh and innovative solution to perhaps the most common and mundane form of the three-storey walkup wood-frame apartment typology. It is both simple and complex. Multiple orientations and spatial diversity within a single unit is extremely inventive and appropriate on a busy corridor.

AK: This project represents excellence through redefinition. The low-rise condominium project is not often the context for the redefinition of architectural experience. The forces at play are powerful and the momentum is often away from innovation and experimentation. Bloc_10 unpacks completely the way in which multi-unit projects are conceptualized, redefining much of our preconceived ideas on how a habitation project is conceived and developed. Program is challenged through entry sequences, building and unit circulation and unit room adjacencies. As a result, notions of “house” are challenged through the resulting lack of unit definition and identity. Bloc_10 is that achievement within critical architecture: a usable, workable, beautiful and compelling experiment that teaches us all something.

JL: This is a very canny, intelligent tweak of the conventional (and I mean this in a positive way) stick-frame three-storey residential walkup typology. The functionalist aesthetic is upended with the inventive sectional drawing that’s like a riff of Hollywood Squares, illustrating how the design can host a panoply of independent activities.

Client Bloc10 Development Corporation, Mark Penner, Korwynn Buhler
Architect Team Sharon Ackerman, Mandy Aldcorn, Maria Amagatsu, Ken Borton, Michelle Heath, Aynslee Hurdal, Johanna Hurme, Cristina Ionescu, Grant Labossiere, Colin Neufeld, Zach Pauls, Sasa Radulovic, Shannon Wiebe
Structural Lavergne Draward & Associates
Mechanical G.D. Stasynec & Associates Ltd.
Electrical MCW AGE Consulting Professional Engineers
Contractor Greenseed Development Corporation
Area 11,000 ft2
Budget $1.5 M
Completion 2011