Bond Tower

ARCHITECT 5468796 Architecture Inc.
LOCATION Winnipeg, Manitoba

Envisioned as a distinct landmark by day and glowing billboard by night, Bond Tower is an 11-storey office building that stands in clear contrast to the downtown Winnipeg skyline. Rising as a thin, black bar between the city centre and the Red River, the building absorbs daylight and frames unique views through a series of apertures that pierce its rigid skin. 

After polling local business owners, it became clear that a need for purchasable office space exists in the downtown, and the idea for business condominiums emerged. To ensure a complete sellout, the project requires the right scale of units–from a configuration of 20 small owners to one large tenant–depending on market demand.

The ownership model within the project has been structured so that floors can be broken up into multiple tenants per floor, sold as individual levels, or combined into multi-floor offices, depending on the company’s programmatic requirements.

The tower overcomes its tight 33′ x 108′ footprint by stretching skyward, offering ten 4,200-square-foot floors of office condominiums and views of the downtown, resting on a commercial base. While the main level sits within the city’s setback regulations, the upper storeys cantilever 15 feet over the sidewalk on each short end, engaging the streetscape below, extending the useable floor space and capturing daylight.

Due to the narrow lot width, it becomes necessary to build flush with the side yards in order to maximize square footage requirements. As a result, no windows are permitted directly on the east or west façades. In addition, while the shorter north and south façades can be constructed with full-height glazing, they cannot provide enough natural light on their own to serve the entire building. Thus, the introduction of horizontal “courtyards” cutting through the structure allows the space to be broken up into smaller compartments, increasing access to light, views and fresh air.

The tower’s rain screen consists of 2′ x 8′ clear-coated, cold-rolled steel panels that are installed proud of the building, creating a cavity where lights can be installed, thereby allowing the structure to read as an electronic billboard and giving life to a building that would otherwise be unoccupied in the evenings.

WF Revisits the stock building conventions of the urban office tower as both an urban artifact and the everyman’s working environment. The apertures into and through the building offer varied opportunities for indoor-outdoor relationships for the tenants of the building. These landscaped incisions, with views out the city, suggest a novel understanding of how the urban office tower is to be occupied.

DN In close proximity to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the building is distinctive in its narrow floor plates with holes cut into the party walls. As a spec office tower, it seems to have the potential to create some intriguing work environments for creative agencies and ateliers looking for an alternative to warehouse space.

PS This schematic presentation is playfully idealistic in its reassurance that architecture has the capacity to bring plausible solutions to the world of commercial development. The presentation was thin in its ability to demonstrate how the engineering disciplines would enrich the architectural concept, yet the strength of the parti alone and its ability to convey architecture’s capacity to solve challenges for urban development are deserving of recognition.

CLIENT Mark Penner, Green Seed Development Corporation
ARCHITECT TEAM Sharon Ackerman, Mandy Aldcorn, Ken Borton, Jordy Craddock, Aynslee Hurdal, Johanna Hurme, Eva Kiss, Jayne Miles, Colin Neufeld, Zach Pauls, Sasa Radulovic, Shannon Wiebe
PHOTOGRAPHER 5468796 Architecture Inc.
AREA 45,500 ft2
COMPLETION construction begins 2012