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Wpg_Guy Jul 18, 2018 10:07 PM

WINNIPEG | Red River College | Innovation Centre Exchange District campus | U/C
Red River College - Innovation Centre Exchange District Campus
Location: Location: 319 Elgin Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Downtown Exchange District Campus
Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects inc. and Number TEN Architectural Group
Developers: Red River College
Size: 100,000 sq. ft.
Budget: $95M
Completed: 2020 (targeted)
Project Thread:
Status: U/C
Video Link


Red River College is in a period of growth, with current demand for innovative programming pushing the limits of its physical infrastructure. To compliment and enhance existing programs, improve its overall competitiveness, and better meet the needs of small to medium enterprises in Winnipeg’s downtown, the college secured funding for a new Innovation Centre at its Exchange District Campus.

Number TEN Architectural Group in joint venture with Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. has been working with a diverse group of Red River College stakeholders to develop the design for the new facility. Living up to its name, the new Innovation Centre @ RRC will be one of the most advanced and forward-thinking buildings of its kind in Canada. Targeting net zero energy, the Innovation Centre will emit little to no net carbon emissions – an ambitious goal considering Winnipeg’s extreme prairie climate.

Inspired by its site context, the 100,000 sq. ft. Innovation Centre is designed to look to the future while respecting the past. The project includes the adaptive re-use of the historically designated Scott Fruit building adjacent to Red River College’s existing Roblin Centre, a state-of-the-art four-storey addition, and an above-ground pedestrian walkway connecting to the Roblin Centre. The skin of the new building addition is comprised of photovoltaic glass that generates energy and changes colour according to weather and the angle in which it is viewed.

Inside, a wide array of unique light-filled programming, circulation and multi-purpose collaboration space is designed to inspire students, create a sense of wonder and encourage idea sharing between students, staff, and industry partners. Indigenous design elements and artwork will form a deeper connection with the site, its history and the surrounding community.

Currently in the construction phase, the Innovation Centre @RRC is on track to welcome up to 1,200 new students in the fall of 2020 and is anticipated to provide an economic boost to downtown Winnipeg and the surrounding Exchange District.

Published: Wednesday, 18 July 2018 10:30
Shovels hit the ground Wednesday July 18 at Red River College’s Exchange District Campus, on the site of what will become the new Innovation Centre @ RRC. In front of a distinguished audience of dignitaries and project stakeholders, RRC executive director of Indigenous strategy Rebecca Chartrand blessed the site on behalf of campus elders.

The new Innovation Centre is designed to foster collaboration between students, faculty, industry and the community, leading to new ideas and partnerships that support the college’s goal of preparing students for the job market and moving local industry ahead of the curve. Designed by Number TEN Architectural Group and Diamond Schmitt Architects inc. in joint venture, the facility’s striking design features will capture the imagination of both building users and passersby.

“During the design process, we proposed that wonder, Imagination, empathy, mystery, being startled, and engaging in passionate search are the key experiences underpinning innovation,” said Number TEN partner-in-charge Doug Hanna in his address to the audience. “In our search for additional layers of meaning that complemented the project charter, it was our intention that the Innovation Centre @ Red River College inspire these qualities in students and faculty.”

The Innovation Centre’s project charter – a set of established and agreed upon project objectives – includes the following goals:
• Community connectivity, inclusion and collaboration
• Socially responsible programs and initiatives
• Agility and adaptability to enhance innovation
• Unique architectural design relevant to innovative learning and teaching
• Heritage adaptive re-use sensitive to the exchange district
• Leading edge sustainability

Among the project’s most ambitious goals is its net zero emissions energy target – a first for a project of this scale in Manitoba. A net zero building is one where the total energy consumed annually is approximately equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site and returned to the grid.

Wpg_Guy Jul 18, 2018 10:09 PM

Design-mind Jul 19, 2018 1:50 AM

Love the design! With the Innovation Centre & Market lands coming on board this area will become so walkable and trendy.

GlassCity Jul 19, 2018 2:08 AM

Looks great, thanks for posting! Look forward to following along.

Wpg_Guy Sep 2, 2018 7:59 PM

Tomasz Fiertek (@tomaszfiertek) on Instagram

Wpg_Guy Sep 26, 2018 12:23 AM


RRC builds on innovative approach to education
Construction underway on college's new facility
Martin Cash By: Martin Cash
Posted: 09/26/2018 6:30 PM

The excavation and piling work has begun on Red River College’s $95-million Innovation Centre just north of the Roblin Building on its Princess campus, and is on schedule to be completed in the fall of 2020.

The building is necessary for purely expansionary reasons and will bring an additional 1,200 students and staff to the Exchange District on top of the 2,500 already there.

And, in addition to the innovative approach to the manner in which RRC will provide education, the building itself includes lots of innovative features.

For starters, the 100,000-square-foot building on Elgin Street will fully integrate a 100-year-old, three-storey building that happens to be one of the first buildings in the city to use concrete construction instead of timber.

"The vertical concrete columns are as thick as the timbers that were being used in construction," said Maria Mendes, RRC’s senior project manager. "It is a sound building. It has not moved in 100 years."

The building is being designed specifically to encourage collaboration and multi-disciplinary team work, so there won’t be classrooms with desks all facing the front. The walls that will be there will mostly be made of glass.

"It is an approach to collaborative learning that’s very different from the way we have done education in the past," RRC president Paul Vogt said. "What employers increasingly tell us is they are looking for that cluster of what we used to call soft skills, but are now being described as power skills or 21st-century skills."

Conceptually, that sounds reasonable. But, practically pulling that off in a $95-million building seems risky.

But,the open-design concept is not being dreamed up by RRC folks in a vacuum. In addition to design assistance being provided by Number Ten Architectural Group, the main architects are Diamond Schmitt Architects with offices in Toronto, Vancouver and New York, who have been responsible for the recent design work at a number of other collaborative learning facilities at institutions, including Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Lazaridis Hall at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building at Drexel University in Philadelphia and the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary.

"Buildings designed for collaborative education are being developed across North America and Europe," Vogt said. "These kinds of spaces have been tested out already. They are highly functional for the kind of education we are doing and for bringing business and the community into an educational setting."

The plan is for the building to be open in the evenings and on weekends to accommodate re-skilling courses that are expected to be a growth area for RRC.

Part of the old building — the Scott Fruit Company Warehouse — will be used to house RRC’s successful Ace Project Space, now being offered in conjunction with North Forge Technology Exchange. It allows students to work with existing entrepreneurs or startups on company projects.

Vogt sometimes refers to the Innovation Centre as Ace Space super-sized.

"It is not entirely a leap into the dark." he said. "With Ace Space, it is a tested model and it works.

"We are very confident in expanding it."

The Innovation Centre will be flexible enough to include broad multi-disciplinary programs to allow for expanded business and business IT, and design and computer-design programs.

Designed as a net-zero building — it will generate as much energy as it uses — it will include photovoltaic cells on the roof of the Scott building and innovative vertical PV cells on the south wall of the new building. It will also experiment with Power-Over-Ethernet technology for some of the lighting in the building, and all sorts of specialized design has been integrated for optimal acoustic effect throughout the building.

Mendes said using big data, RRC’s design consultants came up with 260,000 different models to achieve the kind of energy and performance efficiencies it was looking for.

"Then we narrowed it down to four, and it was like a shopping list," she said. "We were able to play with all the different elements and tweak it so we can be as cost effective and efficient as possible."

The second floor will feature a 210-seat flexible auditorium designed as a building within a building. It will be the downtown campus’s first auditorium of that size.

Wpg_Guy Oct 2, 2018 9:55 PM


Ramping up momentum for College’s new Innovation Centre
September 27, 2018

You’re about to start hearing a lot more about Red River College’s new Innovation Centre, construction of which is already underway in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

The conversation started this week with a keynote speech from RRC President Paul Vogt to the members of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, and with a feature article in the Winnipeg Free Press by Business writer Martin Cash.

Slated for completion in the fall of 2020, the $95-million, 100,000-sq. ft. facility will be a hub for innovation and collaboration — one that will continue to grow Winnipeg’s technology and business sectors, with a focus on applied research, entrepreneurship and social innovation.

It will feature adaptable classrooms, collaboration spaces, an array of student services and supports, and — at its heart — a roundhouse auditorium with seating for 210 people.

With more than 21,000 students enrolled annually, the College is currently operating at capacity, and needs to expand to continue meeting the ever-changing industry requirements of the businesses and organizations where graduates find employment.

This new facility will help RRC students remain ahead of the curve, armed with the knowledge and skills required to start their new careers as leaders.

Learn more about how you can get involved with the Innovation Centre project.
Video Link

Wpg_Guy Oct 5, 2018 5:06 PM

Akman Construction Ltd. on Instagram: “Piling is underway at Red River College’s - Innovation Centre!



Wpg_Guy Nov 16, 2018 4:09 AM


Originally Posted by Kildonaner (Post 8361473)
Just setup a new construction camera system on the NW corner of the Adelaide building to monitor construction progress over the next 3 years! It's a solar powered and weatherproof Canon DSLR system that requires me to manually retrieve the photos every couple weeks. Here is a shot from above, piles currently going in.


Originally Posted by Kildonaner (Post 8375172)
Piles are in (as of Oct 26th) and the last pic before the snow covered the site
Nov 6th, 2018

Wpg_Guy Feb 7, 2019 9:23 PM

Wpg_Guy Mar 8, 2019 10:45 PM

Wpg_Guy May 28, 2019 12:09 AM

Steel is going up

Wpg_Guy Aug 1, 2019 12:12 AM

Wpg_Guy Aug 24, 2019 5:38 AM
Akman Construction Ltd. (@akman_construction) on Instagram

Wpg_Guy Sep 7, 2019 8:27 AM
Akman Construction Ltd.

Wpg_Guy Oct 15, 2019 9:21 PM

Oct 21 2019:

Wpg_Guy Oct 27, 2019 5:21 AM

Wpg_Guy Nov 4, 2019 8:54 AM

Wpg_Guy Nov 26, 2019 5:19 PM

Wpg_Guy Dec 7, 2019 8:34 PM


From the wings of a butterfly comes inspiration for Winnipeg building’s façade

The scales on the wings of the Morpho butterfly inspired a Swiss company to develop a glass covering for solar panels, and Winnipeg’s Red River College – currently undergoing expansive redevelopment – will be the first in North America to benefit from the research.

Like the butterfly’s bright scales, which shift colour in flight, the Kromatix-branded coloured glass panels will conduct and conserve energy as their hue changes with the light. Red River College is building a new facility, across from the main campus, which will incorporate the glass technology.

Kromatix was created seven years ago by Swissinso S.A. in partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne to address aesthetic and technical problems with photovoltaic solar panels.

“No architect or building owner would accept ugly black solar panels … on the surface of their building,” says Rafic Hanbali, chief executive officer of Swissinso.

Colouring the solar panels with paint would only decrease their efficiency, he explains, and there were durability concerns, such as colour fading.

“Kromatix solved both issues by using an atomic [physical, as opposed to pigment] design deposited inside the solar glass to create a structural colour.”

A bronze-gold colour was selected for the Red River College project to complement the red masonry of Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District, where its new Innovation Centre will be located. The Centre is slated to open next fall.

The wall of photovoltaic panels will save the college an estimated 18 per cent in annual energy consumption.

The building will be a 100,000-square-foot expansion to the existing downtown campus.

Michael Leckman, of Diamond Schmitt Architects, who together with Number Ten Architectural Group took on the $95-million project, appreciates the dual purpose of the glass.

“The glass-covered photo-voltaic wall panels will not only create electrical energy, but keep out the weather,” he says.

With this new construction, the college is striving to be LEED Gold-certified, says Maria Mendes the college’s senior project manager.

“The project aims to foster sustainable growth by limiting the college’s footprint with a near net-zero energy building,” says Ms. Mendes.

The gold hues of the panels are fascinating, she adds. “They will change depending on what angle you’re looking at – in all shades of gold.”

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