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  #21  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 2:08 AM
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Originally Posted by trueviking View Post
^^ha ha. No problem!

I wish every commercial building downtown had a retail ground floor too. It’s not realistic but it would be great. Richardson’s need a lab. They spent more building downtown than the suburban option they looked at. I’m glad they did. I didnt have a realistic expectation that they would build and run retail in their lab. As great as that would be.

It has as much street interaction as almost every other building in the exchange. But I agree. I wish it had retail units.

I don’t really get the fixation on the tiny parking lot. It’s not possible to build a building right up to the CN main line. The only reason there is any parking is because it’s not feasible to build there. They didn’t want any parking but there was no point in leaving the space empty.
Surface parking, no main floor retail, not built up to the property line, suburban feel, minimal street interaction... Nice to see Vike be a bit more compromising and forgiving on these points when it's his own design .

In all seriousness though, very cool design and a welcome addition to that area,even if it looks like it should be in Smart Park .
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  #22  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 4:34 AM
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Ha ha. Yeah I deserve it.

The parking isn’t even for the building. It’s a remnant because it’s not legal to build within 30m of a main line.

I’ll totally give you the setback. It’s the only thing that makes it ‘suburban’ in my mind. Wouldn’t be my choice, and I can’t defend it, but I get why it was nonnegotiable. The site is an island in a sea of surface parking lots. And it likely will be for a long time. If it was surrounded by buildings built to the property line, I’m sure they wouldn’t have felt the need for it. It may even be a nice little pocket park on the lane if the rest of the lots were built up. It’s odd because it is seen in isolation, like a suburban building.

I do think it’s pretty unrealistic to expect every office building to have retail units. It’s not a public building. They could have built it in the suburbs. They almost did. I’m glad it has a huge street facing atrium and 10’ high windows into the labs. It was a battle to get that. It has more dialogue with the sidewalk than any other building on Lombard.

Compare it to the NRC labs on the other side of downtown. Or the labs near HSC. They are fortresses.

Last edited by trueviking; Apr 5, 2018 at 5:05 AM.
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  #23  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 1:01 PM
wags_in_the_peg wags_in_the_peg is offline
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what is with obsession with street level retail? guys & gals, get over it, not every building can have it and there's 100's of empty retail street level spaces located in downtown.
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  #24  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 1:12 PM
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Exactly!
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  #25  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 1:36 PM
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Originally Posted by wags_in_the_peg View Post
what is with obsession with street level retail? guys & gals, get over it, not every building can have it and there's 100's of empty retail street level spaces located in downtown.
Pretty much this. I would never expect a corporately owned building like this on a side street with minimal pedestrian traffic to have CRUs. It's simply not gonna happen. If there had been CRUs built, you could bet your bottom dollar that they'd sit empty for years before an accountant or therapist or some other professional service set up shop, it would never become a funky boutique or whatever.

That said, proper urban design can be expected of every building and vike makes a good point that this building is a vast improvement over the NRC research facilities on Ellice... those buildings look nice from a distance but they don't engage with the street at all.
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  #26  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 3:25 PM
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Pretty much this. I would never expect a corporately owned building like this on a side street with minimal pedestrian traffic to have CRUs. It's simply not gonna happen. If there had been CRUs built, you could bet your bottom dollar that they'd sit empty for years before an accountant or therapist or some other professional service set up shop, it would never become a funky boutique or whatever.

That said, proper urban design can be expected of every building and vike makes a good point that this building is a vast improvement over the NRC research facilities on Ellice... those buildings look nice from a distance but they don't engage with the street at all.
Proper urban design *should* be expected of every building, but yes. And there are many ways to make buildings pedestrian friendly without adding active commercial at ground level. Jan Gehl and others talk about what proper building design elements are needed on residential and non-high streets. Lots of permeability (real doors and real windows), and visual texture and scale... ie, no long blank walls.

Given the setbacks the owner demanded, this building does a pretty good job of adding a lot to the pedestrian environment.

And even at downtown Winnipeg's urbanism peak (circa 1915-1930), I don't believe there ever was retail on Westbrook, or just about anywhere else that far east of Main. This was, and certainly is now, very much off the beaten path.
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  #27  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 4:13 PM
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The project is filling longtime surface lots downtown, creating 100 high-end jobs initially with up to 200. It is being built by a private Winnipeg-based company dedicated to the city and the downtown, without public funding. It is a great design and doesn't look anything like anything like anything I've seen in the suburbs, and it's the same height as the building across the street. It's a lab. I don't expect every building built to have ground floor retail, anymore than I would expect Richardsons to put a floor of condos on the fourth floor.
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  #28  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 4:27 PM
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Great addition to the area, modern design, private investment what's not to like?!
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  #29  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 5:25 PM
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Originally Posted by trueviking View Post
H

I’ll totally give you the setback. It’s the only thing that makes it ‘suburban’ in my mind. Wouldn’t be my choice, and I can’t defend it, but I get why it was nonnegotiable. The site is an island in a sea of surface parking lots. And it likely will be for a long time. If it was surrounded by buildings built to the property line, I’m sure they wouldn’t have felt the need for it. It may even be a nice little pocket park on the lane if the rest of the lots were built up. It’s odd because it is seen in isolation, like a suburban building.
why the insistence on setback? is that coming from the client?

btw great job with the angled cantilevered section so the nutty club sign remains partially visible, i love that sign
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  #30  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 5:28 PM
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also one of the things to point out for those who are talking about "it looks suburban", think about the cladding here. in a render, you don't necessarily see the distinction as much between tyndall stone and the usual EIFS/hardie/stucco/whatever cladding you'd see in the burbs. but at a street level, this being tyndall stone will make it feel MUCH more solid and urban, i think
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  #31  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 5:41 PM
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I like it. With a building that size it could have ended up looking like a credit union. I don't know why but credit unions always look awful. But this does not
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  #32  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 5:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Ando View Post
The project is filling longtime surface lots downtown, creating 100 high-end jobs initially with up to 200. It is being built by a private Winnipeg-based company dedicated to the city and the downtown, without public funding. It is a great design and doesn't look anything like anything like anything I've seen in the suburbs, and it's the same height as the building across the street. It's a lab. I don't expect every building built to have ground floor retail, anymore than I would expect Richardsons to put a floor of condos on the fourth floor.
exactly! very well put
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  #33  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 5:53 PM
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I like it. With a building that size it could have ended up looking like a credit union. I don't know why but credit unions always look awful. But this does not
The SCU main branch in Steinbach would look at home on any street in downtown Winnipeg.
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  #34  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 6:07 PM
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Originally Posted by borkborkbork View Post
why the insistence on setback? is that coming from the client?
Yes. Many sleepless nights. Many hours trying to present the case for the alternate. The building for them is a showpiece that they bring people from around the world to impress. They see the area as a desolate and harsh place that doesn’t fit that image. Hard to argue. That’s why I say that if there were other buildings on the street it wouldn’t have mattered. They really felt the context needed to be softened to make the building feel like it wasn’t sitting in an ocean of parking lots. I don’t agree but I get it. Hopefully the other sites will be filled with good urban buildings and the little plaza functions a bit like a pocket park.

Need to convince the city to end the deal with Sam for the parking lot to the south and sell it to a developer.
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  #35  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 6:20 PM
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In today's FP, Richardson made a comment about owning that lot for 30 years, and they " were waiting for the right opportunity." That kind of makes me sick that they owned it for that long, and sat on it.
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  #36  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 6:21 PM
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The SCU main branch in Steinbach would look at home on any street in downtown Winnipeg.
So you are saying that awful buildings look at home in downtown Winnipeg? I know what you are actually saying. Maybe I shouldn't have used the word 'always,' but you know what I mean.
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  #37  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 6:30 PM
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So you are saying that awful buildings look at home in downtown Winnipeg? I know what you are actually saying.
It might not be world class design, but still, you couldn't tell me that this wouldn't cause a noticeable improvement to the streetscape on just about any commercial street in Winnipeg:

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  #38  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 6:31 PM
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^ Richardson's are sitting on a lot more money and property than just this one that they're doing nothing with...
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  #39  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 6:32 PM
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Originally Posted by borkborkbork View Post
also one of the things to point out for those who are talking about "it looks suburban", think about the cladding here. in a render, you don't necessarily see the distinction as much between tyndall stone and the usual EIFS/hardie/stucco/whatever cladding you'd see in the burbs. but at a street level, this being tyndall stone will make it feel MUCH more solid and urban, i think
This is true. The cladding is 6'x3' panels of tyndal stone. The glass is super clear. It is not typical condo materials.
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  #40  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 6:32 PM
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https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/bu...478829123.html
Food innovation in heart of downtown
Richardson International to build $30-M centre that will draw in experts from across the nation
Martin Cash By: Martin Cash
Posted: 04/4/2018 10:30 PM

Richardson International is building a $30-million innovation centre down the street from its Portage and Main headquarters as a testament to its commitment to downtown Winnipeg and its optimism for the Western Canadian agricultural industry.

Construction on the four-storey, 62,000-square-foot building on the southeast corner of Westbrook Street and Lombard Avenue — the current site of two surface parking lots — will begin next week.

Hartley Richardson, the CEO of James Richardson & Sons, the multi-billion-dollar family owned business, and chair of Richardson International, the grain-handling and food processing division, said the new development is a continuation of its commitment to downtown Winnipeg that started in 1965 with the development of the company’s office tower at Portage and Main.

"That building is now the corporate head office of James Richardson & Sons as well as five subsidiaries. Our roots run deep in Winnipeg and we are very proud to call it home," he said.

"Our vision has long been to see downtown Winnipeg reach its potential as the centre of excellence for the agricultural industry. Today, that vision takes a giant step closer to becoming a reality."

The Richardson Innovation Centre will become the headquarters for the company’s food innovation teams. Richardson International, one of the largest originator and exporter of canola and oats in North America, also owns two large canola processing facilities in Western Canada and five oat processing facilities in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.

The new centre will bring food science and technician teams in from across the country to work in a modern, spacious facility.

Chuck Cohen, Richardson International’s senior vice-president technology, said, "As we move into new products and new businesses and new product lines there will be lots of room for expansion to help that team grow."

The company has been talking about establishing such a research and development centre for a few years. Curt Vossen, the CEO of Richardson International, said it is part of the evolution of the company over the past 20 years from being strictly a grain handling and merchandising company into one that includes a billion-dollar crop input retail operation and canola and oats processing operation.

"We are now looking at a company that is very much involved in a variety of different things — agricultural products, grain merchandising, inputs retailing... the whole business of processing raw agricultural material into much more finished products," he said. "So we are basically in the food and ingredients business."

The building, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020, will be the workplace for about 100 people initially with the capacity for twice as many people.

Designed by Winnipeg’s Number Ten Architectural Group, the new building will feature a 20-metre-high glass atrium and inside of that a sculptural glass staircase set in front of a wood feature wall.

"The atrium will be a glowing lantern and a focal point in the downtown, opening the building to the urban surroundings, something you don’t typically see with lab buildings," said Brent Bellamy, Number Ten’s creative director.

Vossen and Richardson made the point that the design and presentation of the building was almost as important as its functionality.

"We have owned the property for about 30 years and we were waiting for the right opportunity," Richardson said. "We looked at other alternative sites but we agreed it would be inconsistent with our commitment to downtown. We decided this was the right time and place to use the lot and build a dramatic, good looking building, instead of another box."

The building will have three-metre windows that will allow pedestrians to glimpse the equipment inside and the second storey will cantilever five metres over the sidewalk "in a gesture like no other in the city," Bellamy said.

"I think that will become the signature of the building and a real feature for downtown," he said.

Company officials said it will become another asset in the city to collaborate with the food science work at the University of Manitoba and the culinary arts department at Red River College, as well as the Canadian International Grains Institute and the Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie.

Vossen said the investment is not being done out of any sense of competitive urgency.

"It is about our optimism about the future. If we wanted to be casual about it, we wouldn’t do it (at all)," Vossen said. "And I can guarantee we would not need to do it like this. We could put it in a box in an industrial park. But that is not the point.

"We want to make a statement," he said. "It is not about ego. It is about who we are as a company. We are a proud Canadian company. We want to bring the best technology and solutions... and do it the way we do everything else, in a practical, but elegant way."

Total area — 62,000 square feet (5,800 square metres)

Number of floors — four

Total height — 66 feet (20 metres)

Main floor — 19,000 square feet — product development and culinary kitchen

Second floor — 19,000 square feet — quality control labs including analytical lab, microlab and grain grading lab — offices and staff areas including south-facing outdoor patio

Third floor — 12,00 square feet — office area

Fourth floor — 12,000 square feet -— office area

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Read more by Martin Cash .
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