Extreme Climates: Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects and Manitoba Hydro Place
September 21, 2010

Special projects by Dan Euser & Deco Dawson

Conceived by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, designed in collaboration with Anita Matusevics

Extreme Climates is an exhibition organized around a series of installations to reveal the inherent complexity underlying what upon first glance appears to be a deceptively simple, modern glass office tower.

Manitoba Hydro Place represents the first of the next generation of bioclimatic green architecture integrating time-tested environmental concepts in conjunction with advanced technologies and the art of architecture.

The exhibition title encapsulates the geographic, climatic, urban and global context in which Manitoba Hydro Place was conceived and the conditions against which 21st century architecture must be considered. Planning for the project began in 2002, a year before Architecture 2030 was founded and four years before Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (2006) galvanized the world to take action and responsibility for the threat of climate change. Winnipeg itself is a city of extremes. Temperatures fluctuate from -50°C to +40°C over the year. Winter months experience an unusual abundance of sunlight and strong gusting southerly winds, and the downtown is recovering from a series of economic downturns which have negatively impacted the quality of civic life.

Recognizing that LEED was not structured to prioritize major energy savings, and to make a visible demonstration of its commitment to energy reduction, Manitoba Hydro set ambitious goals for its new building to achieve 60% above the MNECB (Model National Energy Code for Buildings). In addition it had to provide a healthy work environment filled with 100% fresh air for 2000+ employees, participate in the city’s urban revitalization strategy, and demonstrate fiscal responsibility within the framework of architectural excellence. To achieve this, a formal Integrated Design Process was mandated comprising the client, design architects, architects of record, climate engineers, contractors, building consultants and related experts.

Extreme Climates presents Manitoba Hydro Place as a case study on how integrated design processes and interdisciplinary teams are applied to develop solutions and resolve opposing objectives while at the same time recognizing that creativity and imagination rarely emerge through consensus.

The exhibition was conceived by KPMB, design architects of Manitoba Hydro Place, and designed and developed in collaboration with Anita Matusevics of Wonder Inc. It includes an installation demonstrating the humidification and de-humidification system designed in collaboration with Dan Euser, and a short film by Deco Dawson.

The Eric Arthur Gallery at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design
230 College Street, Toronto

September 21-November 27
Gallery Hours: 9:00 to 5:00 from Monday to Friday and noon to 5:00 on Saturday


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