WINNIPEG – Construction has begun on the $95-million Innovation Centre at the Red River College Exchange Campus in Winnipeg.
Diamond Schmitt Architects in a joint venture with Number TEN Architectural Group are repurposing and expanding a downtown heritage building in a 100,000-square-foot development with facilities for entrepreneurship, applied research and commercialization.
“The Innovation Centre is deeply informed by its context with connection to the street and a layering of space and natural light through an orchestrated sequence of spaces large and small,” Diamond Schmitt Architects principal Michael Leckman said in a statement.
The Innovation Centre is focused on collaboration with both industry and Winnipeg’s startup sector, and the building will feature thematic work zones.
The Sandbox will be an advanced computer education space with room for pitch sessions, the Roundhouse is the symbolic centre of the building anchored in its west corner and the City Room is at roof level.
“The Agora, inspired by its Greek precedent, forms the heart of the facility – an open space for orchestrated ‘collisions’ between students and faculty, industry partners and the college as a whole. An atrium above this zone brings daylight into the core and transforms a helical stair from mere circulation to become a focal point,” said Diamond Schmitt principal Sydney Browne.
The project aims for net-zero energy consumption, with a skin of energy generating photovoltaic glass panels, explains a release.
“When we first proposed this campus expansion in the Exchange District, we wanted to create a space that embraced a new way of teaching and learning. A space that would bring together students with education and industry professionals, and a space that would embrace social innovation and enterprise and allow us to continue to focus on groundbreaking innovative research,” said Red River College president and CEO Paul Vogt.
“Number TEN and Diamond Schmitt embraced this vision and have turned it into reality. We’re very proud of this project and can’t wait to share it with the community.”
The project is slated for completion by 2020.