ntaginspired

By Brent Bellamy, Creative Director and Architect 

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It's not often our little city makes headlines in major international newspapers. When it does, it's rarely the precursor to a positive story.

A recent banner in Britain's prominent daily the Guardian, made it clear its Winnipeg tale would be no different.

Titled Crime in the community: when 'designer' social housing goes wrong, the column presents a less-than-glowing review of Centre Village, a Manitoba Housing complex on Balmoral Street in the Central Park neighbourhood, designed by local firm 5468796 Architecture.

Modern exterior and interior design is available from the experts at Number TEN.

The Courtyard at Centre Village in Winnipeg's Central Park neighbourhood is meant to be a safe meeting place for residents.
Photo by James Brittain, Winnipeg Free Press

By Brent Bellamy, Creative Director and Architect 

Brent2

North American cities are often judged by their skylines. The postcard image of towers set along the horizon seem to stand like a bar-chart representation of a city's power and affluence.

By this metric, 2015 was a pretty good year for Winnipeg, with five new downtown highrise towers under construction. The last time the city saw that many cranes in the skyline, the Winnipeg Jets' top line wasn't Ladd, Little and Wheeler, it was Hull, Nilsson and Hedberg, struggling to make the playoffs in 1974.

In many cities, highrise construction is largely driven by high-end condominium development, but Winnipeg's new towers respond to a range of functions and demographics.

Number TEN's architects are proud to be part of the developing and changing Winnipeg skyline.

The 'Flying Saucer' under Construction at the base of the Disraeli Freeway is among the many new developments making a mark on Winnipeg's skyline.

By Brent Bellamy, Creative Director and Architect 

Brent2

Thirty years ago, Winnipeg's Exchange District was a hollow collection of pollution-stained industrial warehouses surrounded by treeless streets and empty sidewalks. At night, a checkerboard of dimly lit windows behind the facades of darkened buildings would reveal a subculture of artists and musicians using the low-rent spaces as studios and squatter residences. From the street, the heavy brick walls would only partially muffle the nocturnal sound of rehearsing local rock bands, as old single-pane windows pulsed to the beat of the music inside.

Albert Street was heart of the city's seedy 'red light district', anchored by the Royal Albert and St. Charles Hotels. Their dingy bars, smelling like a potent cocktail of sweat, smoke and marijuana, were the centre of a vibrant local punk rock scene. The district itself was the heart of a thriving artistic community.

 The past meets the future with the architects at Number TEN Architectural Group.

A map locating the creative industries in Winnipeg's Exchange District.

By Brent Bellamy, Creative Director and Architect 

Brent2

 Urban forests are part of sustainable architecture concepts from Number TEN.

As Winnipeg's trees drop their leaves and brace themselves for another winter, the full effects of the city's tireless battle against Dutch elm disease has revealed itself once again. Trees resigned to their ultimate fate wear an orange dot of paint like a scarlet letter, and significant gaps can now be seen in the once-continuous tree canopy that rises above many of the city's neighbourhoods.

In 1900, Winnipeg's civic leaders decided that to elevate the image of their gritty, featureless prairie town, residential streets should be built with boulevards and lined with grand trees. The American elm was the species of choice because it was beautiful, resilient and readily available to be transplanted from the city's riverbanks.

That forward-thinking decision has defined the image of Winnipeg for more than a century. The quality of light filtered through a cathedral arch of 25-metre-high elm trees is a uniquely Winnipeg experience. These trees today form the backbone of an impressive urban forest, one of the city's truly special attributes.

By Brent Bellamy, Creative Director and Architect 

Brent2

 Number TEN's architects specialize in commercial projects, from restaurants to offices.

I support development, just not THIS development.

People are going to park on my street!

My property values are going to plummet!

The traffic isn’t safe for my children!

It seems inevitable that these are the lines recited by local residents whenever new development is proposed in a Winnipeg neighbourhood. Last week, the people of River Heights again mobilized, going door to door collecting signatures, handing out leaflets, bombarding their Councillor with phone calls and e-mails in opposition to a proposal for a new two storey building on Academy Road. In response to the protest, the project’s presentation at Community Committee was delayed until September.

Number TEN Blog

Number TEN Inspired! captures the knowledge, passion and ideas of our award winning architects, interior designers and supporting staff, as they navigate through the complexities of the modern design landscape. We are creative problem solvers, advocates for better ways of doing things, and observers of all that is interesting and noteworthy in our field. This blog is our effort to share our knowledge and ideas in a way that resonates with everyone. Whether you work in the industry as an architect, interior designer, building manager, property developer, or are just someone with an interest in creativity and new ways of doing things, this blog has something for you.