This international competition aims to redesign a 3000m2 site in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, which features many of the city's emerging historical, cultural and community assets. The objective is to create a new urban destination including an indoor pedestrian square and open and permeable public spaces.
The competition programme includes sustainable social housing with 100 apartments, including 30 studios, 45 one-bedroom apartments and 35 two-bedroom apartments, a cultural centre, as well as common facilities and services. The building must have a net zero energy consumption and a carbon neutral footprint, as well as an energy management system that meets the LEED Platinum level.
Contestants must also design a vibrant, flexible and informal urban market that allows local suppliers to create their own environment. The building, which must accommodate year-round activities, can only have one storey of approximately 650 metres.
We, the Jury for the Market Lands Design Competition, are pleased to provide this final report to summarize our deliberations. We were very pleased with the calibre of work in the 23 submissions to the RFQ and found it very difficult to select a short list of five teams from the submissions. The teams included architects and planners from five Canadian Provinces, many European countries and the United States.
The Jury held several collective discussions until we ultimately selected the five short-listed teams. The competition concluded with formal presentations before the Jury and the general public on Friday December 7, 2018 in a conference space in the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg. Each team was given 20 minutes to provide a comprehensive presentation of their proposal and then respond to 10 minutes of questions from the Jury.
The Jury wants to thank all competitors for their highly creative work and the very high calibre of presentations. We recognize the commitment and integrity that each team demonstrated towards an Excellence in Architecture and want to thank all contributing firms for their time, energy and passion.
The following is a summary of the Jury comments for the Winning Entry and the four Honourable Mentions in order of their public presentations.
Market Lands Design Competition
Daoust Lestage Architects, Montreal
The Jury was most impressed with the clarity of the proposal - an elegant Market Building on a bold new square with a visibly sustainable residential building to the north of the site creating a strong, commendable and appreciated response to the context, particularly the urban grain and morphology of the site creating a clear continuation northward of the continuation of Albert Street and Old Market Square. The superb aerial illustration demonstrates the connection that the new market square provides to the Red River College heritage buildings on Princess Street and from Old Market Square and City Hall. The overwhelming feeling of the Jury was that of brightness and openness as it became clear that the entire project would be flooded in sunlight all day and all year, and that the new market would be open and fully exposed to the surrounding urban edges of Princess, William and King Streets.
The Jury found the team's proposal to place the new market building overtop of the historical shadow of the original market building very powerful and fitting for the project. The openness and daylight proposed for the glazed market demonstrated very positive design ideas. The Jury also had a strong connection to the simplicity of the market plaza with functional areas on all sides of the Market Building for market day expansions. They also liked the connections between the Market Building and the Cultural spaces opening into the plaza between the buildings. Most appealing to the Jury was the clear sustainability planning by Transsolar and the architectural team - the concept of the 'sliding volumes' of the mixed-use building with the solar atria winter gardens, cross ventilation and the hanging second-level greenhouse on the south half of the Market building were ingenious. The Jury also liked the simple massing of the separate buildings that seemed to fit into the massing of the surrounding districts. The Jury also appreciated the nod to a clear modernism reflecting the adjacent modernist city hall precinct. Also, the Jury thought the project was most feasible from financial and constructability viewpoints.
The Jury expressed some concern in a couple of areas including the need for a greater warmth and use of timber for surfaces treatment and structural systems in the Market Building. There was also a concern that the width of the Mixed-Use Building would block the sun to building on the north. However, the Jury felt that these concerns were easily addressed especially with a shift in the 'sliding' feature of the mixed-use building. The Jury felt that the architects could provide creative options to resolve these issues while maintaining the essential character of the proposal.
DTAH Architects and Planners, Toronto
The Jury was impressed with the creative theme of the proposal, the well-crafted and seamless delivery and presentation and especially the risk to show the aerial illustration of building in bleak mid-winter.
The theme of a BEAM of the prairie sun and the integration of the buildings into a comprehensive whole was striking. The Jury liked the orientation of the building in the east-west direction as it opened all the building forms to the full south sun. The low-rise nature of the complex worked well and provided little shadowing to the northern site. The oblique connection to the northern site through the Mixed-Use Building was seen as a good design direction. In addition, the detailed thinking on the building's sustainability was positive.
The integration of the building components provided some concerns. The first concern was that the building did not seem to fit the massing of the Exchange District - the surrounding heritage buildings are simple rectangular blocks, while the proposal was a juxtaposition of several multi-level building types with a curved and angled form. In addition, the large areas of semi-public mall-like space connecting the functions were concerning from a capital budget point of view but also from the long-term management of the space for security and safety. The connected market function was seen to be too subsumed by the overall building form and too much associated with the housing to have a full public presence. The function of Daybreak Hall was not well understood and it seemed to extend too far towards William Avenue. In addition, the materiality of the proposal, while warm and full of texture, seemed unnecessarily enclosed and internal. Finally, the proposal did not seem to have any functional public outdoor space - the main floor program of the building spaces and the configuration did not leave any definable public plaza.
Saucier + Perrotte Architects, Montreal
The Jury was impressed with the 'bow tie' bold angled direction of the east building edge that followed the Albert Street angle from the south. The new park proposed in the east triangle was a compelling proposal and served well to open the northern site to the south and Old Market Square. The parallelogram structural system was seen as a creative structural theme. There was general delight at the placement of the market directly on William with overflow stalls to progress along the angled market going north. Also, the positive identity of The Gallery along Princess Street provided a solid connection with the street. The fly-by illustrations shown at the public presentation provided an excellent understanding of the proposal.
The central criticism of the Jury was that the proposed design seemed out of place with the scale and character of The Exchange District. It is a very crisp modernist form that would be a solid asset in a more commercial part of Winnipeg's downtown. The exposed concrete form, fully glazed housing block and extended podium is not a massing consistent with buildings in The Exchange. In addition, there was concern about the proposed 15 storey height and the need to obtain height variances due to the compact residential floor-plates. The description of the design of the high, compact tower limiting sun shadows on buildings on the north site was not fully accepted by the Jury as the height of this building would demand even greater height from more northern future buildings. The Jury was confused about the proposed interface between the market and the gallery and the ability to access the upper gallery separately from the lower level. There was also the concern that the Market design was not a standalone function and that it was absorbed into the overall building. Finally, there was also a question about the ability of this complex concrete building to meet the project budget.
Dialog Architects, Vancouver
The Jury was very taken with the thoughtful theme of Memory that pervaded the presentation and especially with the references to Truth and Reconciliation. The Jury was also fully impressed with the aerial image showing the busy market in full autumn sun and the idea to extend the market across King Street and connect with the City Hall precinct. The north-south orientation of the buildings was positive and the connection to the north precinct worked well. The Jury liked the definition of the stand-alone market building and its integration into the site. The concept of 'Hearth' was well received (especially with the sculptural form of hearth) and the many features of the proposal that developed from this theme - especially the circular form that flowed around the market building and across the street. The Jury was positive about the interconnected floors in the mixed-use building and the proposal to connect the residential amenity space and the creative gallery space and open all this to the plaza. The Jury was very impressed with the attention to detail and the comprehensive site programming options demonstrated in the proposal. The ideas for the building sustainability were comprehensive and seemed feasible. The presentation was very well articulated by both presenters and their deep experience in market governance and operation was deeply appreciated.
In the end, the Jury found that the image of the sun-filled and welcoming market area on the east side of the site as in the perspective, would be in significant shadow many afternoons in late summer and fall due to the shadow of the 10-storey mixed-use building. In addition, the Jury was concerned about the shading and pedestrian impact of the 10-storey massing on Red River campus and along Princess Street as illustrated in the Princess and William elevation. The Jury thought that the building form was not fully developed enough to embrace the central 'circle' concept. Also, the flexibility of the plaza seemed functionally restrictive with the permanent grass filled planters on the south side of the plaza blocking openness. It seemed that the plaza flexibility is dependent on the closing of William and the spread of the market to the east. The Jury was aware that, as beautiful as the substantive rooftop gardens on both the market and the residential building are, they are likely not feasible due to cost. Finally, the Jury thought that the Hall of Creativity, the two-storey Gathering Room and the large second floor terraces were somewhat too grand in scale and cost for the Arts Hub.
1x1 Architects, Winnipeg and dRMM Architects, London UK
The Jury appreciated the vivacity and humour in the design proposal that focused around sustainable mass timber structures for both buildings. The orientation of both buildings on the site was thoughtful as was the flowing connection to the centre of the northern site. The Jury thought the typology of the market building as a corner-supported hyperbolic paraboloid was an ingenious solution for a transparent and permeable market building. Especially successful was the openness of the market structure from Old Market Square. Also appreciated was the open plaza surrounding the market building. The Jury did appreciate the risk-taking commitment of the proponent in proposing the design of the housing in the cutting edge and sustainable mass-tirnber technology, even though it has not currently been approved for use in (Manitoba for a ten storey residential building. The Jury also appreciated the colourful graphics and playful approach to the project as well as the thorough and comprehensive sustainability approach. The Jury appreciated the reference to an open-ended plan for the Gallery in order to allow for the self-expression by the Indigenous Community.
The Jury did express however that the graphic nature of the proposal was difficult to interpret in several areas - the character and indoor areas of the market, ramps and mezzanine were difficult to read, there was limited indication of form, character and program for the plaza the overall aerial view of the site did not enable a clear vision. The Jury was concerned about the proposed functionality for the market roof and for the extensive costs for this addition to the program. Also, there was little sense of community for the residential tenants as only a limited entry vestibule on the main was illustrated with the remainder public amenity space sprinkled throughout many levels of the residential tower. A key issue for the Jury was one of risk with the design of the residential building predicated on mass timber buildings. The Jury expressed concern that the approval process for this new technology could become a major scheduling and cost issue. A final concern was that the cost framework evaluation did not have any discussion or did not show any premium add-on costs for additional features such as the ramp and roof of the market building and any premiums for the mass timber construction in a new market area.
(Excerpt from the jury's comments)
John Kiernan, Chef de division
Bruce Kuwabara, Architecte
Alan Tate, Architecte de paysage
Stage Two: Request for Proposals (RFP) Issued - October 3, 2018
Optional Site Tour/Orientation - October 16, 2018
Deadline for Questions/Addenda - November 2, 2018
RFP Submission Deadline - November 30, 2018
Public Presentation of Proposals - December 7, 2018
Notification of Winner - December 14, 2018
(From competition's documentation)
Daoust Lestage wins Winnipeg Market Lands design competition - constructconnect.com, Journal Of Commerce, 2019
Thompson, Sam, Exchange District’s Market Lands redesign competition has its winner - Winnipeg | Globalnews.ca, 2018
Daoust Lestage wins Winnipeg’s Market Lands design competition, Construction Canada, 2018
Revealing the finalists for Winnipeg’s Market Lands design competition, Construction Canada, 2018
Finalists announced for Winnipeg's Market Lands Design Competition, Canadian Architect, 2018
Design Winner Chosen for Market Lands Development in the Exchange | ChrisD.ca, ChrisD.ca - Winnipeg News, 2018
The new (affordable housing) market – The Uniter
- Rapport du jury (global)