Headquarters for Manitoba Hydro to be designed by KPMB with Smith Carter.

Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg (KPMB) has won the bid to develop a signature building for Manitoba Hydro’s new downtown headquarters in Winnipeg. KPMB, was recently selected from a group of eight architects short-listed as finalists late last year.

“They had a good deal of experience on designing energy efficient buildings,” said Hydro spokesman Glenn Schneider. “It was one of the key criteria in what we were looking for.” KPMB is credited with designing Centennial College’s science and technology centre in Scarborough, Ontario, and the Canadian Embassy in Berlin. Smith Carter Architects, the local architectural firm in Winnipeg, and who partnered with KPMB on the embassy project, will provide local expertise and support.

Smith Carter is best known for developing laboratory facilities around the world, notwithstanding Great West Life’s corporate headquarters and Cancer Care Manitoba.

KPMB must now develop a series of design responses addressing the context of the south side of Portage Avenue between Carlton and Edmonton streets. Winnipeggers will then be given an opportunity to look at and critique the designs. After the public has been given its due, the firm will proceed on a final scheme. Construction could begin by the end of 2004.

Hydro expects to move its 2,000 employees to its new downtown office space by 2006.