Manitoba Hydro Place has officially opened today. This world class office tower is a model for the next generation of extreme climate responsive architecture.
Designed by the integrated design consortium of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (Toronto), Smith Carter Architects (Winnipeg) Transsolar KlimaEngineering (Stuttgart), the tower has already gained attention with the prestigious “Best Tall Building in North America” award that is granted by the CTBUH (Council for Tall Buildings), the world’s leading body dedicated to the field of tall buildings and urban habitat. In October, Manitoba Hydro Place will also go on to contend for the “Best in the World” prize. Already generating international interest, the project has appeared in the Princeton University Press, the Architectural Press, and various other journals in Europe and Asia.
Photographs by Gerry Kopelow
Winnipeg, located in the geographic centre of North America is one of the coldest large cities in the world. From the start, in 2003 the client, Manitoba Hydro, established ambitious goals and mandated the project be conducted within a formal Integrated Design Process (IDP).
It was to be designed to optimize passive free energy and 100% fresh air year round in an extreme climate that fluctuates from -35ºC (-31 ºF) to +34ºC (95 ºF) and without compromise the comfort of 2000 employees. The design integrates tested environmental concepts in conjunction with advance technologies to achieve a “living building” that dynamically optimizes its local climate.
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At the same time it was to play a major role in the revitalization of the downtown, demonstrate architectural excellence, and most importantly demonstrate the client’s recognition that its employees are its greatest asset by delivering a highly supportive, healthy workplace environment. LEED Gold rating with the potential for Platinum is essentially a by-product of the overall initiative.
A dedicated web site to the project, in which the IDP is documented, key elements discussed and building performance tracked is scheduled to be launched shortly following the official opening on September 29th, 2009.
Content courtesy of v2com.