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Competition: Winnipeg Market Lands

Public Safety Building, Winnipeg
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An open international contest has been announced for a major mixed-use regeneration project in central Winnipeg, Canada

Open to all local and international teams – the competition seeks visionary proposals for a landmark new 100-unit residential urban renewal scheme featuring a 700m² market building and 1,500m² public plaza.

The project, backed by the CentreVenture Development Corporation, will transform a prominent city centre plot currently occupied by a Brutalist car park and a former Public Safety Building which was vacated two years ago (pictured). The winner will receive £57,500 prize and a design contract.

According to the brief: ‘The vision for the project is to create a new urban destination with a pedestrian oriented internal plaza, zero setback buildings, public, open, and permeable spaces at the ground level, transparent residential connections with balconies or terraces and a granular, intense, informal, urban market – one that enables local vendors to create their own environment, texture and character in a daylight–filled winter-city structure.

‘The competition is for a design that includes a new 100-unit affordable housing complex, a 700m² market building and a 1,500m² plaza. Emphasis will be on architectural design excellence and a creative, pragmatic and vibrant urban design solution centred on a quantifiable energy use intensity target.’

Winnipeg – which means ‘muddy water’ in Cree – has been an important trading centre for thousands of years and is often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the West’ due to its many railroad connections.

Located within Winnipeg’s ‘Exchange District’ – the 0.97 hectare Market Lands were the site of the city’s original public market in the early nineteenth century.

The prominent site – bounded by James Avenue, King Street, William Avenue, and Princess Street – is currently occupied by a disused Brutalist car park and a Public Safety Building. CentreVenture Development Corporation revealed plans earlier this year to redevelop the northernmost parts of the block. 

The contest focuses on the southernmost 0.32 hectare plot within the block which contains an underground passageway to nearby Winnipeg City Hall. Surrounding landmarks include the Manitoba Centennial Centre, Old Market Square, Chinese Cultural Centre, and Red River College’s downtown campus.

Up to five teams will be invited to draw up conceptual designs following an open request for qualifications round. Participating teams must feature at least one member registered with the Provincial Architectural Associations in Canada.

Judges include Angela Mathieson from CentreVenture; John Kiernan from the City of Winnipeg); Alan Tate of the University of Manitoba; and Eladia Smoke of Smoke Architecture.

The overall winner will receive a £57,500 prize and the design commission. The four finalists will also receive an honorarium worth £5,750 each.

The deadline for applications is 14 September.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

City Place 88-333 St. Mary Avenue
MB R3C 4A5

Tel: 204.954.7733
Email: reception@centreventure.com

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