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This article was published 8/5/2018 (554 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A local firm has brought home one of the country’s top honours for a bungalow it designed in East St. Paul.
5468796 Architecture Inc. has won a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture for what it calls the Parallelogram House, located in the bedroom community north of Winnipeg.
A dozen projects in total were awarded medals, which are handed out every two years, as determined by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
"In our eyes, this is the highest award you can get for built work in Canada," said Sasa Radulovic, one of the firm’s principals. "This is the only one that counts."
Radulovic said its mostly galleries and high-end public projects that catch the institute’s eye, not bungalows, adding it if is a house, it’s usually a multimillion-dollar mansion in Toronto.
It’s the third Governor General’s medal for the Winnipeg firm started in 2007. It won previously for the Market Square stage and a condominium project at the corner of Grant Avenue and Niagara Street.
A "parallelogram" sounds like something you tried to forget after your high school days but, to refresh memories, it is a rectangle that leans in one direction.
The architectural firm was faced with a dilemma of how to build onto an 80-foot-wide property the owner had found. It wasn’t deemed wide enough to accommodate the young family without adding a second floor, but they wanted a bungalow.
It’s not the house that leans like a parallelogram but it’s footprint, or floorplan, is that shape. It’s as if the design team took a rectangular house and gave it a half-turn while keeping its facade to match other homes on the street.
"All of a sudden, it all fits," said Radulovic.
With the design, the firm was able to create 80 feet more of wall and window space in the front and back, said Radulovic. The building has 2,700 square feet of living space, with 11-foot-high ceilings.
The family "knew we would come with a somewhat radical design. They hired us for that," he said, adding the homeowner owns a construction management company and has built commercial projects that 5468796 Architecture has designed. (The company derives its numbered name from its registered corporation number.)
Not all the walls are parallel, but that isn’t a problem. "Whenever walls are converging, because they’re not parallel it’s a large space, so you don’t feel constrained by the geometry," Radulovic said.
The home’s exterior is clad in stained, vertical wood siding. It has floor-to-ceiling windows, and terraces opening towards the backyard.
Some other award winners this week include Borden Park Pavilion in Edmonton, Fort McMurray (Alta.) International Airport, and the Fort York Visitor Centre in Toronto.
The award presentations will take place this fall in Ottawa.
Bill Redekop has been covering rural issues since 2001.
Updated on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 10:03 PM CDT: corrects name of company
May 9, 2018 at 8:00 AM: Corrects photo credits