Number TEN Architectural Group's blog provides the latest news from the leading Canadian architect firm.

By Brent Bellamy, Creative Director and Architect 

Canadian Museum for Human Rights development involved interior design work from Number TEN.

 It has been 4,549 days since the Winnipeg Free Press first announced media mogul Israel Asper had been secretly championing an idea to construct a national museum at The Forks, in the centre of the city. Children born on that day are now in Grade 8. This weekend, finally, the world will be given the opportunity to step through the museum's doors and into Mr. Asper's imagination.

When the concept of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was unveiled, it seemed to be an impossible dream. The average house price in Winnipeg was $98,000. The city had 80,000 fewer residents. There was no new airport, Manitoba Hydro tower or Investors Group Field. Our hockey team was a minor-league franchise playing in a 50-year-old arena. We were not used to big things yet.

By Brent Bellamy, Creative Director and Architect 

 The Bank of Montreal Building in Winnipeg was inspired by New York architects.

Referring to Winnipeg as the ‘Chicago of the North’ is like comparing the city to a famous child actor who, after his television show was cancelled, spent the rest of his life reminiscing about his time in the spotlight.

Focusing on this Chicago comparison not only discredits the diversity of what Winnipeg is today, it dilutes what the city was during the booming, turn-of-the-century rail-town days that inspired its nickname.

By Brent Bellamy, Creative Director and Architect

Union Station in Winnipeg, Manitoba - a project of the Number TEN Architectural Group, interior design experts.

In 1908, the headlines of the Manitoba Free Press boldly proclaimed Winnipeg's new train depot, to be constructed at the foot of Broadway, would be "the most modern railway terminal in the world."

It described the building as magnificent in proportions and luxurious in its appointments, the finest in the Dominion. American architects Warren and Wetmore, who were simultaneously designing Grand Central Station in New York, would go on to create a building that stood as the gateway to the Canadian West, a symbol of prosperity and optimism in the young city.

By Brent Bellamy, Creative Director and Architect

 Work at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was performed by Number TEN's architects.

Nearly 20 years ago, the swirling titanium panels of a new Guggenheim Museum transformed a blue-collar city named Bilbao, Spain into a flourishing centre of culture and design. This inspired cities across the globe to build ever-more sensational public buildings, hoping to recreate the elusive "Bilbao Effect."

As Winnipeg prepares to open its own iconic museum, the lesson that can be learned from the experience of these cities is translating a building like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights into a broader development catalyst, requires a focused effort to build complementary projects that expand the museum's influence beyond its walls.

By Brent Bellamy, Creative Director and Architect

River walks are an important part of municipal work from architects.

 Winnipeg is sometimes referred to as River City. Despite owing its very existence to the conflux of two waterways and having four distinct rivers flowing through its boundaries, the reality is Winnipeg is anything but a true river city.

 

For more than a century, we have turned our back on the rivers. Travel down the Red or Assiniboine by boat and it is striking how rarely they are engaged by development. From the water it appears almost as though the city doesn't exist. Only downtown office towers that peak over the grand elm trees hint at its urban location. In Winnipeg, rivers are often crossed but they are rarely approached.

 

The lazy Prairie rivers that meander through the city appear benign at first glance, but their hidden power is revealed with water levels that rise as much as seven metres. These dramatic fluctuations have made it difficult to consistently develop the waterfront, resulting in a city that faces away from its rivers.

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.