#9916 - New Construction - Cultural
The Fort Whyte Centre was conceived in the late ’70s as a place for education on environmental issues. Poised for a major expansion, the Centre requires a new building to service its visitors. In additional to controlling access to the overall site, the Visitor Services Building will provide such services as loafing and feeding (café), hatching (meeting room), preening (washrooms), and browsing (gift shop). In an effort at sustainable development, the facility is designed to function under various scenarios including as a banquet hall.
The building strikes a pose of environmental hype-sensitivity. The rough stone wall on the north wall appears as a geological anomaly on the prairie and its funnelesque shape collects visitors from the parking lot and draws them to the centre. The centre of this long low form is the site of a minor geological disturbance where the polite flat roofed wings have been interrupted by a shifting of plates, dynamic soil pressures have pushed the piles out of the ground causing the roof planes to shift, and the walls to fall over. By the time visitors arrive, everything will have achieved stasis.
Award of Honour: SMARC wins Manitoba Wood Design Award "The project was unanimously considered to be the most creative work, as well as the most comprehensive submission. The architects were able to convey full information on the project with a format of photos, drawings, text and contextual images. Described by one of the jury members as "Frank Lloyd Wright on drugs", this project stood above the rest of the crowd, raising the bar for design. It is the jury’s hope that this project will inspire and heighten the level of competition in the future. The project was acknowledged as having been integrated into the landscape, for its sophistication and simplicity leading to elegance, for the use of natural materials, which are organized in an evocative but coherent presentation. This project is both beautiful and functional."-Comments of the jury for the Manitoba Wood Design Awards