The Avenue on Portage

The Avenue on Portage revives two historic commercial buildings from the early 1900s located one block west of Winnipeg’s most famous corner, Portage and Main. Once major retail destinations in the city, the Avenue and Hample Buildings experienced a slow decline, becoming blights to the street and downtown. In 2010 our client purchased the site to develop the derelict properties into 75 rental apartments and 22,500 s.f. of commercial space.

A series of formally simple moves dramatically transform the original façades, shifting public perception of the buildings from eyesores to a unified urban landmark. Hovering above the sidewalk, steel balconies cantilever from existing window openings and provide outdoor access for residents. Clad in mirror-finish aluminum, the balconies become camouflaged against their surroundings, reflecting at turns the sky, the façade and the street below. At street level a wall of glass folds back into the building to create a deep, V-shaped entrance that broadens the width of the sidewalk. Overhead, a faceted canopy angles outward 13 feet from the face of the Hample before returning to meet the edge of the Avenue, unifying the two façades. Together, these elements draw the city into the building’s expression, making it an active participant in the life of the street.

Description by architects

Media

10 photos and 5 drawings

Building Activity

  • Nadezhda Nikolova
    Nadezhda Nikolova updated, added a digital reference, updated 15 media and uploaded 15 media
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    about 4 years ago via OpenBuildings.com