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OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture, Old Market Square, Winnipeg, Canada

Emerging Architecture Awards 2010: Highly Commended

Concerns about the lack of formal sophistication of this open performance venue were eventually dismissed as the jury’s focus shifted to the innovative metal drape that cloaks this otherwise nondescript concrete cube. The venue sits in the middle of Old Market Square, a place established as the hub of summer festivals in the historic Exchange District of Winnipeg. After the implementation of landscape proposals by others, the city organised a competition for a public stage. This winning scheme, by local firm 5468796 Architecture, responds to the relatively short season of events, producing what it describes as an ‘interactive sculpture’ when not in use, that could easily shift from ‘a venue for a rave party to a quiet pavilion’.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture

In contrast to the dynamic skin, the cube has a solid concrete core shaped to enhance on stage acoustics, boost sound projection for the audience and to house a secure projection room. When not hosting live acts, the skin forms a giant projection screen through the ingenious composition of its metal chain mail-like links. Comprised of sliced sections of extruded aluminium, each link (or module) acts as a faceted light reflector so that images from the projection ‘ricochet’ out to the eyes of the audience. During events, the slinky nature of the skin allows it to be pulled back as a large metallic drape.

Architect 5468796 Architecture, Winnipeg, Canada
Structural engineer Lavergne Draward and Associates
Lighting consultant Ambinaces Lighting and Visual Design
Photography 5468796 Architecture

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