Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
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This article was published 2/8/2016 (1442 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
If you’ve ever glanced inside the windows of BLDG architecture office inc. at 694 Osborne St. you’ve seen some interesting creations.
Last year I noticed an inventive Lego structure. Lately I have seen miniatures of buildings. These models or maquettes are made by architects to give them a sense of a future structure’s appearance and to present to the client.
When I recently looked in BLDG’s windows I recognized the maquette of an apartment building that occupies the site of the former Montcalm Hotel on Pembina Highway.
"We’ve brought to market over a thousand (housing) units," said Karen Shanski, BLDG’s owner and lead architect.
Shanski relocated the firm to South Osborne in November, 2015 where it has grown to seven architects in response to an increased workload. All of BLDG’s architects are University of Manitoba graduates. Most also live in Fort Rouge and walk to work.
One of the firm’s recent projects is a 500-unit housing development called Tuxedo Point. Located in seven buildings on a 13-acre lot, most of the units are high-quality rentals while the rest are condominiums. Large common rooms in each building plus a well-endowed gym complete the development. One building offers a mix of affordable and high-end apartments.
Some of the suites are accessible (to people with disabilities) and will provide tenants with the opportunity to "age in place," Shanski said.
Another BLDG housing project is underway at 98 Market Ave., site of a former parking lot, in the Historic Exchange District.
"We are approached by the client (for these projects)," Shanski said. "The majority of our work comes from long-term relationships with repeat clients."
BLDG’s new projects adhere to Manitoba Hydro’s Power Smart guidelines which produce buildings that are 15 per cent more efficient than those built according to the national energy code.
BLDG also works on projects other than housing. It recently helped Bikes & Beyond on Henderson Highway double its space.
"We understand the potential for reusing, updating and renovating," Shanski said.
The Watermart Drive-Up Kiosk on Pembina Highway presented BLDG with a different challenge. An enormous water tank stood in the middle of the workspace. Two BLDG architects found a way to design the station around the elephant-like tank, and Watermart looks good and works well.
"We have a responsibility to our urban condition," Shanski said.
"We approach projects with sensitivity. It is important to listen, to be open and to collaborate with clients, the community and the city.
"We want to create architecture not take away from the community."
Dianne Doney is a community correspondent for Fort Rouge. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fort Rouge community correspondent
Dianne Doney is a community correspondent for Fort Rouge.
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