Launch Slideshow

BGBX

5468796 Architecture

BGBX

5468796 Architecture

  • http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/0110_AR_BGBX_aerial_tcm20-284694.jpg

    true

    600

    Courtesy 5468796 Architecture

    The courtyard-facing walls of the housing blocks are clad in concrete board panels painted with a pixelated image of a treescape.

  • The architects started their planning by filling the site, drawing their inspiration from big box stores.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpD79D%2Etmp_tcm20-283525.jpg

    true

    The architects started their planning by filling the site, drawing their inspiration from big box stores.

    600

    Courtesy 5468796 Architecture

    The architects started their planning by filling the site, drawing their inspiration from big box stores.

  • They then cut out a central courtyard around which the housing units are arranged.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpD79E%2Etmp_tcm20-283532.jpg

    true

    They then cut out a central courtyard around which the housing units are arranged.

    600

    Courtesy 5468796 Architecture

    They then cut out a central courtyard around which the housing units are arranged.

  • The donut shape was divided into six irregularly sized housing blocks, with a series of pathways allowing passage through the housing complex.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpD79F%2Etmp_tcm20-283539.jpg

    true

    The donut shape was divided into six irregularly sized housing blocks, with a series of pathways allowing passage through the housing complex.

    600

    Courtesy 5468796 Architecture

    The donut shape was divided into six irregularly sized housing blocks, with a series of pathways allowing passage through the housing complex.

  • The courtyard is filled in with a bioswale that provides botht he ecological effect of filtering stormwater runoff before reutrning it to the water table and the urban effect of creating a public green space that is accessible to residents of the complex and the surrounding neighborhood.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpD7A0%2Etmp_tcm20-283546.jpg

    true

    The courtyard is filled in with a bioswale that provides botht he ecological effect of filtering stormwater runoff before reutrning it to the water table and the urban effect of creating a public green space that is accessible to residents of the complex and the surrounding neighborhood.

    600

    Courtesy 5468796 Architecture

    The courtyard is filled in with a bioswale that provides botht he ecological effect of filtering stormwater runoff before reutrning it to the water table and the urban effect of creating a public green space that is accessible to residents of the complex and the surrounding neighborhood.

  • The complex has 24 housing units with 10 configurations, ranging in size from 660 to 1,195 square feet. The structural and mechanical composition of each unit is determined by a modular system of 4-foot-wide hollow concrete slabs.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpD79B%2Etmp_tcm20-283512.jpg

    true

    The complex has 24 housing units with 10 configurations, ranging in size from 660 to 1,195 square feet. The structural and mechanical composition of each unit is determined by a modular system of 4-foot-wide hollow concrete slabs.

    600

    Courtesy 5468796 Architecture

    The complex has 24 housing units with 10 configurations, ranging in size from 660 to 1,195 square feet. The structural and mechanical composition of each unit is determined by a modular system of 4-foot-wide hollow concrete slabs.

  • The architects treat the courtyard as a bioswale, with plants and trees that create an ecosystem to filter stormwater runoff before it seeps back into the groundwater.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmpD79C%2Etmp_tcm20-283519.jpg?width=524

    true

    The architects treat the courtyard as a bioswale, with plants and trees that create an ecosystem to filter stormwater runoff before it seeps back into the groundwater.

    524

    Courtesy 5468796 Architecture

    The architects treat the courtyard as a bioswale, with plants and trees that create an ecosystem to filter stormwater runoff before it seeps back into the groundwater.

What If Big Box Stores Inspired a Green Community?
BGBX / 5468796 Architecture

Site
A 355-foot-by-97-foot vacant lot on an industrial strip in Winnipeg, Canada. The surrounding neighborhoods are residential.

Program
Twenty-four units of housing, flexible commercial space, and covered parking arranged around a central bioswale courtyard, with public decks connected by circulation bridges.

Solution
To create a sense of community in an inhospitable environment, 5468796 Architecture turned to an unlikely source of inspiration: the big box store. Calling upon their experience with projects ranging in scale from private residences to airport hotels, this 12-person Winnipeg-based firm began the design process for BGBX with a simple volume that filled the site. From there, the team carved out pathways and a central courtyard, resulting in six discrete, but irregularly shaped, housing blocks. Contained within them are 24 residential units ranging in size from 660 to 1,195 square feet. While some jurors expressed concern about the scheme’s inward focus and wondered if the architects missed an opportunity by turning the building’s back on the neighborhood with anonymous corrugated metal cladding, juror John Peterson was taken with the approach. “I think it’s pretty provocative,” he said.

The courtyard is a public green space, accessible not only to residents but also to the surrounding community. A lush bioswale is accented with decks, a gazebo, and bridges to encourage open use of the park—the only one in the industrial neighborhood. The façades of the housing volumes facing the courtyard are clad in concrete board panels that are hand-painted with pixelated images of trees. This effect intensifies and blends with the summer foliage and provides a warm contrast against the bleak winter snowfall. “I like it,” said juror James Richärd, “and I almost wish the core had actually gotten even more playful.”

Project Credits

Project BGBX, Winnipeg, Canada
Client Deer Meadows Condominium Services—Jeffray Badger (president)
Architect 5468796 Architecture, Winnipeg—Johanna Hurme, Sasa Radulovic (principals); Sharon Ackerman, Michelle Heath, Cristina Ionescu, Colin Neufeld, Shannon Wiebe, Mandy Aldcorn, Ken Borton, Aynslee Hurdal, Grant Labossiere (project team)
Developer CSB Management Corp.
Construction Manager Greenseed Development Corp.
Electrical MCW/AGE Consulting Professional Engineers
Landscape Architect Lynette Postuma
Mechanical G.D. Stasynec & Associates
Structural Hanuschak Consultants
Surveyor Barnes & Duncan Land Surveying and Geomatics
Projected Square Footage 24,000 square feet