Winnipeg’s “flying saucer” condominium set for construction

Construction of Winnipeg’s “Flying Saucer” condominium project 62M, designed by Winnipeg-based studio 5468796 Architecture, will commence March 2013. Green Seed Development Corp. President Mark Penner recently announced they have secured financing for the project after pre-selling 50% of the 40 units in the $4.5-million complex. The project is set for completion in spring, 2014.

Named after its address, 62M will occupy the corner of MacDonald Avenue and Waterfront Drive, close to the Exchange District. The two-storey, circular building will be lifted up on 35-foot stilts. Its circular design is spatially efficient and will provide each unit with a view. As a whole, the 360° plan provides the widest possible perimeter for glass with the smallest amount of exterior envelope to construct. In addition, all 40 units will have identical, pie-shaped layouts that simplify assembly.

Each 610-square-foot suite will be arranged so that the entry and utility spaces will occupy the narrow end, closest to the circulation core. This configuration frees the remaining square footage for a flexible, open living area that culminates in an expansive wall of floor to ceiling glass.

“We came up with the circular design and pie-shaped units to create a very efficient building and floor plan. Then we raised the building in the air to give every occupant a fantastic view,” says 5468796 Architecture partner Johanna Hurme.

At ground level, 20 supporting columns spaced between alternating pairs of parking stalls will form a ring just inside the building’s perimeter. The columns’ thinness will be a clear counterpoint to the band of housing, emphasizing the weight and mass of the building floating above.

The landscape design is conceived as a sea of greenery surrounding the building, leaving an open, cloister-like volume beneath the soffit. The garden is comprised of 62 Jack pines set within a bed of mixed pinecones. Rows of ferns will be planted between the pines, and a series of pinecone-shaped planting beds will be found amidst the trees and around the central elevator and lobby core.

The units are priced between $195,000 and $215,000, depending on the view. Adjacent suites can also be combined horizontally or vertically for larger one or two storey spaces. Thus far, buyers have included both first-time homeowners and investors with the intention of renting.