‘The Cube’ is an open-air performance venue situated in Old Market Square, an iconic green space and summer festival hub in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District. In 2009, 5468796 won an invited competition with a multi-functional design that throws out the old bandshell concept on the grounds that when a conventional stage is not in use it looks forlorn - especially through the city's long winters.
A concrete structure enclosed by a flexible metal membrane, The Cube functions as a multipurpose environment. The membrane is composed of 20,000 identical hollow aluminum pieces strung together on aircraft cables. The orientation of the pieces alternates, forming a malleable and shimmering curtain that can stand like a wall, be pulled in to reveal the performance space, or function as a light-refracting surface - allowing it to morph into a projection screen, concert venue, shelter or sculptural object. The curtain’s flexibility also allows for acoustical fine tuning. When the stage is closed, the membrane’s diamond extrusions capture and refract internal lighting or projections to their outer surface, creating a unique pixel matrix for artists to appropriate at will.
Description by architects