Archive for February 13th, 2011

February 13, 2011

The new Holmenkollen Ski Jump | JDS Architects

A perfomative project

The Holmenkollen site has been the cradle of evolution in ski-jumping for more than 100 years. As the city of Oslo will host the 2011 world championships, the facilities required a renovation beyond what the existing structure could manage.

JDS Architects’ submission won the international open competition held in 2007 against 104 proposals to redesign the jumping tower and the 30,000 seats arena. Beyond fulfilling the discipline’s requirements for many years to come, and providing 100% recyclable materials in a sustainable construction, our project proposes two aspects we believe have led to its completion;

Symbiotic relationship between architecture and experience: the design aims at unifying the various elements present in a ski-jump into one single structure, expression, shape and action. Rather than having a series of dispersed pavilions on site, we’ve managed to combine them into one organism. The judges’ booths, the commentators, the trainers, the royal family, the VIPs, the wind screens, the circulations, the lobby, the lounge for the skiers, the shop of souvenirs, the access to the existing museum, the viewing public square at the very top, EVERYTHING, is contained into the shape of the jump in a symbiosis of programmes and experiences giving the jump a harmonic contextual relationship to the surrounding landscape.

The resulting simplicity of the solution improves the experience of the spectators and the focus of the skiers. There’s an impressive feeling of intimacy at Holmenkollen: both audience and jumpers are enclosed in the arms of the ski-jump in a form of an architectural embrace.

Iconographic dialogue between structure and city; there is a crucial aspect to this iconographic issue that our project emphasizes: from its strategic position, at the highest peak over the city, the structure offers the most breathtaking views of Oslo, the fjord and the region beyond. We have designed a public square, on top of the jump, literally a plaza, to let visitors experience Oslo from this exceptional vantage point. It’s a new form of public space, using an unlikely architectural form as its host – allowing for a dialogue between the city and its inhabitants.

We believe sustainability requires the social realm to be addressed: a project needs to be socially desired and active to be maintained. With this new injection of social space, the ski jump has become a truly vibrant and integrated part of Oslo.

February 13, 2011

Winnipeg skyscraper earns tall tower award

Manitoba Hydro place earned the best tall building in the America’s award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.


Manitoba Hydro place earned the best tall building in the America’s award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

A Toronto architectural firm’s unique design approach helped a Winnipeg skyscraper win the title of the year’s best tall building in the Americas.

Manitoba Hydro Place is a 23-storey, energy-efficient building on Winnipeg’s Portage Avenue and it earned the award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

The $300 million is aiming for at least LEED Gold certification and was designed through a joint venture between Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg (KPMB) Architects Ltd. and Atlanta-based Smith Carter Architects and Engineers. The building was completed in December 2008.

“What really differentiated this project from other buildings was from the beginning it was organized and designed through an Integrated Design Process (IDP),” said Kael Opie, KPMB project architect.

“The IDP process is an organization by which the primary consultants, along with the architect and the client, all come to the table at the beginning of the project. This allows the primary players to make fundamental decisions about the shape and form of the building as a group.”

Opie said that under the classical model of building, the architect comes up with the concept, sells it to the client and then calls in the engineers.

“The IDP turns the classic approach on its head,” he said.

“This was critical for Manitoba Hydro because we were trying to achieve a high level of energy reductions.”

The goal was to achieve a 60 per cent energy savings.

“A lot of things went into achieving this energy efficiency saving,” he explained.

“The main difference between Hydro Place and a typical building is the heating and cooling of the building is achieved using a passive system, when possible. The shape of the building, orientation and atriums were all arranged to meet the energy requirements of the client.”

The IDP process was enhanced by extensive computer modeling using local wind, sun and temperature data to evaluate design options.

The building also has the largest closed loop geothermal system in the province. There are 280 boreholes, each 150 mm (6”) in diameter, that penetrate the site 125 metres (400 ft.) underground.

A key element in the passive ventilation system is a solar chimney that draws used air out of the building and preheats the incoming cold air in the south atria, during the winter.

Depending on the season, a 24 metre tall waterfall feature in each of the atria humidifies or dehumidifies the incoming air.

During colder times, recovered heat from exhaust air and passive solar radiant energy are used to warm the fresh air.

Manually operated windows on the interior curtain wall, combined with the automated exterior wall vents controlled by the Building Management System, allow employees to control their individual environment.

The site was strategically selected because more than 95 per cent of the bus routes pass by, including routes to suburban Winnipeg, where 80 per cent of Manitoba Hydro employees live.

Every feature of Manitoba Hydro Place was integrated to make this building one of the most energy-efficient office towers in the world.

The CTBUH, which is based at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, is the world’s leading organization on tall buildings.

Buildings throughout the world are recognized by region at its annual awards ceremony.

The 2009 tall building winners are:

• Manitoba Hydro Place, Winnipeg

• Linked Hybrid, Beijing, China

• The Broadgate Tower, London, UK

• Tornado Tower, Doha, Qatar

One of these four will be named Best Tall Building Overall at the council’s awards dinner in Chicago on October 22-23.

Some of the Players:

Integrated Design Process (IDP) team:

Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects & Smith Carter Architects and Engineers, in joint venture.

Design architects:

Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects

Architects of record:

Smith Carter Architects and Engineers

Construction manager:

PCL Constructors Canada Inc.

Energy/climate engineers:


Advocate architect:

Prairie Architects Inc.

Demolition contractor:

Paragon Industries


Crosier Kilgour/Halcrow Yolles (structural)

AECOM Canada Ltd. (mechanical & electrical)

Hilderman Thomas Frank Cram & Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg (landscape)

Leber Rubes(life safety)

Brook Van Dalen & Associates (building envelope)

Soberman Engineering (vertical transportation)

Aercoustics (acoustics)

RWDI Inc. (microclimate)

Hanscomb (quantity surveyor)



February 13, 2011

Manitoba Hydro | KPMB Architects

mahydro_07 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_02 © Gerry Kopelow

mahydro_01 © Gerry Kopelow

mahydro_03 © Paul Hultberg

mahydro_10 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_11 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_12 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_13 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_14 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_15 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_16 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_17 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_18 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_19 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_20 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_21 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_22 © Eduard Hueber

mahydro_23 © Eduard Hueber

atrium_04 diagram 01

opener_4 diagram 02

gallery_4 diagram 03

Architects: Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (Design Architects) / Smith Carter Architects + Engineers (Executive Architects) / Transsolar (Climate Engineers)
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, 
Project Team: Bruce Kuwabara, Luigi LaRocca, John Peterson, Kael Opie, Lucy Timbers, Glenn MacMullin, Ramon Janer, Javier Uribe, Taymoore Balbaa, Steven Casey, Clementine Chang, Chu Dongzhu, Virginia Dos Reis, Andrew Dyke, Omar Gandhi, Bettina Herz, Eric Ho, Tanya Keigan, Steven Kopp, John Lee, Norm Li, Eric Johnson, Andrea Macaroun, Rob Micacchi, Lauren Poon, Rachel Stecker, Matt Storus, Richard Unterthiner, Dustin Valen, Francesco Valente-Gorjup, Marnie Williams, William Wilmotte, Paulo Zasso
Architects of Record: Smith Carter Architects and Engineers
Client: Manitoba Hydro
Project Area: 64,590 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Gerry KopelowPaul HultbergEduard Hueber

Manitoba Hydro is the major energy utility in the Province of Manitoba, the fourth largest energy utility in  and offers some of the lowest electricity rates in the world. Owned by the provincial government, nearly all of its electricity comes from self-renewing water power. Its new headquarters tower, Manitoba Hydro Place, is the first of the next generation of sustainable buildings integrating time-tested environmental concepts in conjunction with advanced technologies to achieve a “living building” that dynamically responds to the local climate.

Located in downtown Winnipeg, the city is known for its extreme climate, with temperatures that fluctuate from -35ºC (-31 ºF) to +34ºC (95 ºF) over the year. The 64,500 m² (695,000 ft²) tower is targeting less than 100 kWh/m²/a compared to 400 kWh/m²/a for a typical large scale North American office tower located in a more temperate climate. The architectural solution clearly responds to the client’s vision, and relies on passive free energy without compromise to design quality and, most importantly, human comfort.

The street address, 360 Portage Avenue, encapsulates the three-hundred and sixty degree approach of the formal Integrated Design Process (IDP) mandated by the client to achieve the objectives of 60% energy savings, supportive workplace, urban revitalization, signature architecture and cost effectiveness. The site was strategically selected because over 95% of the bus routes pass this address, including routes to suburban Winnipeg where 80% of Manitoba Hydro employees live. The IDP process was greatly enhanced by extensive computer modeling using local wind, sun and temperature data to evaluate design options. The building is already projected to outperform its original energy goal by 64% or higher.

Dubbed an ‘Open Book’ by citizens of Winnipeg, the tower design forms a capital ‘A’ composed of two 18-storey twin office towers which rest on a stepped, three-storey, street-scaled podium. The towers converge at the north and splay open to the south for maximum exposure to the abundant sunlight and consistently robust southerly winds unique to Winnipeg’s climate. The podium includes a publicly accessible Galleria to offer citizens a sheltered pedestrian route through the full city block. Narrow floor plates and tall floor-to-ceiling glazing allow sunlight to penetrate into the core. A double façade curtain-wall system made of low-iron glass forms a one metre (three foot) wide buffer zone. It is comprised of a double-glazed outer wall and a single-glazed inner wall which insulates the building against heat and cold. Automated louvre shades control glare and heat gain while radiant slabs act as an internal heat exchange with the geothermal field.

A 115 metre (377 foot) tall solar chimney marks the north elevation and main entrance on Portage Avenue, and establishes an iconic presence for Manitoba Hydro on the skyline. The solar chimney is a key element in the passive ventilation system which relies on the natural stack effect. The chimney draws used air out of the building during the shoulder seasons and summer months. In winter, exhaust air is drawn to the bottom of the solar chimney by fans, and heat recovered from this exhaust air is used to warm the parkade and to preheat the incoming cold air in the south atria.

In contrast to conventional North American office buildings which use recirculated air, Manitoba Hydro Place is filled with 100% fresh air, 24 hours a day, year round, regardless of outside temperatures. Within the splay of the two towers, a series of three, six-storey south atria, or winter gardens, form the lungs of the building, drawing in outside air and pre-conditioning it before it enters the workspaces through adjustable vents in the raised floor. Depending on the season, a 24 metre tall waterfall feature in each of the atria humidifies or dehumidifies the incoming air. During colder temperatures, recovered heat from exhaust air, and passive solar radiant energy are used to warm the fresh air. The conditioned air is drawn through the raised floors into the office spaces through under floor fan units. Building occupants, computers and other sources of heat cause the air to rise, which is then drawn north and exhausted by the solar chimney. In the shoulder seasons, the building relies solely on outdoor fresh air through the use of automatic and manually operated windows.

Manitoba Hydro Place also has the largest closed loop geothermal system in the province. 280 boreholes, each 150 mm (6”) in diameter, penetrate the site 125 metres (400 ft.) underground, circulating glycol which is cooled in the summer and heated in the winter by the ground source heat exchanger. Water is circulated through the heat exchanger and distributed through thermal mass of the concrete structure which in turn heats or cools the space consistently.

Manually operated windows on the interior curtain wall, combined with the automated exterior wall vents controlled by the Building Management System, allow employees to control their individual environment. This elemental detail reflects Manitoba Hydro’s commitment to the well-being of its employees, as well as to its goals for improved productivity and reduced absenteeism. Workstations and glass enclosed meeting spaces are organized into neighborhoods around each atrium to support individual and team-centred work processes. In both the north and south atria, interconnecting stairs promote physical activity, reduce reliance on elevators and provide opportunities for interaction between divisions. The podium rooftops feature deep soil intensive green roofs and accessible terraces, creating a lush landscaped outdoor amenity for employees, while also reducing stormwater runoff and providing additional thermal insulation. A reflective coating on the tower rooftops reduces the summer season cooling load and the urban heat island effect.

Manitoba Hydro is as invested in creating a supportive workplace and revitalizing Winnipeg’s downtown as it is in achieving energy savings and signature architecture. The building connects to the city’s elevated sheltered pedestrian network. In the former head office, located in the suburbs of Winnipeg, 95% of the employees drove to work alone. In anticipation of the transition, Manitoba Hydro secured a number of parking stalls downtown. At the same time, it created various incentives, including corporate participation in the Transit EcoPass program to encourage employee use of public transit. Six months after moving into the new building, more than 50% of relocated employees are leaving their cars at home. As a result Manitoba Hydro has been able to reduce its parking spots and has observed a five-fold increase in employee use of public transit compared to the previous year. Qualitatively, employees are reporting that they are enjoying time gained to read and socialize with colleagues.

With a vested interest in the downtown, leasing opportunities in the base building are limited in an effort to stimulate the support of local businesses, and to encourage staff to experience their city. Restaurants and bars are already reporting a tremendous increase in revenue as a result of the influx of over 1600 Hydro employees to the area.

Ultimately, Manitoba Hydro Place sets a precedent for the seamless integration of architectural excellence and climate responsive, energy efficient and sustainable design while enhancing and improving the quality and comfort of the human experience and the civility of urban life.





February 13, 2011

KAPSARC |mossessian & partners