Located in Winnipeg’s Old St. Vital neighbourhood, the renovation of a former tile and granite fabrication facility is perhaps 701’s most autobiographical project to date. The endeavor reflects the studio’s principals and values: hands-on investment, inventive approaches to program and budget, an interest in incremental infill development, the commitment to densification and investment in emerging neighbourhoods and a continuing investigation into mixed use program and sustainable urban living in Winnipeg.
After operating as a sole practitioner for a number of years, steady growth necessitated the acquisition of a new storefront location. A well-used granite workshop provided a unique, yet challenging opportunity. The basement workshop housed workbenches, tools, conveyors, scaffolding and pulley systems for fabrication, while the upper floors consisted of compartmentalized offices and support spaces clad in acoustic tile and vinyl wood paneling. The 701 team undertook the entire demolition and many elements of new construction themselves, removing all existing interior partitions, finishes and equipment to the bare concrete block and wood joists.
With a building footprint of 11’-6” wide by 80’-0” deep, the strategic insertion of new stairs and glass partitions in the raw space to define boardroom, library and utility spaces on the basement floor, office and kitchen space on the second floor and a residence for the practice lead on the third required careful consideration of plan and material to ensure maximum penetration of daylight and views throughout the floor plate. Exiting requirements for both the residential and commercial components required careful arrangement of vertical circulation. The addition of a rooftop exterior patio accessible from the third floor residence offers a new perspective of St. Mary’s Road, the adjacent Red River and the city beyond while providing a private retreat from the noise of practice and the traffic below.
Client: 701 Architecture Inc.
Typology: Mixed Use
Area: 2,163 sq.ft
Status: Complete 2013
Structural: Tower Engineering
Mechanical: Tower Engineering
Electrical: Tower Engineering
MB 2014: A Collection of Manitoba Architecture