The decision to repurpose a 50,000 square foot Winnipeg landmark, the former United Army Surplus store, into a sustainable, welcoming environment for students, faculty and the community was an exciting undertaking for the UWCRC.
Design decisions were made to maximize existing features and create a welcoming openness that begins at street level and continues throughout the Centre.
The LEED Silver achieved building incorporates a number of cutting edge environmental features that have resulted in maximum energy and technological efficiencies. For example, foam-insulated metal panels, used in the walls, serve as air barrier, insulation and hoarding all in one package. SMART classrooms and CISCO telepresence provide opportunities for instruction and collaboration using a wide variety of media and the latest technology available.
Tenants include the Faculty of Business and Economics and the Division of Continuing Education as well as the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (Plug-in ICA).
Partnering with Plug-In ICA underlines the goal of expanding the building’s purpose to move beyond a traditional academic setting. In addition to featuring contemporary art, the gallery seeks to engage visitors from all walks of life through award-winning exhibitions, publications, public programs and professional development opportunities.
The main level bistro is a regular, well-used meeting place for the local downtown community.
Overall, the Centre is a fitting tribute to John and Bonnie Buhler, whose $4 million donation is the largest ever received by the University.