Awards of Excellence in VisitAble Housing

In Spring 2015, VisitAble Housing Canada held a national call for projects that showcased exemplary designs and practices of VisitAble Housing in Canada. MMP Architects submitted two recent projects to the Awards of Excellence, River Point Addictions Centre, and Irene Baron Eden Centre, and are pleased to announce that both projects received recognition by the Jury committee.

More information on VisitAble Housing Canada, and the Awards of Excellence in VisitAble Housing can be found here: Additional information on MMP’s prize winning projects, as well as project photographs can be found below.


River Point Addiction Centre
Multi-Family Unit Development Category – Second Prize

The 85,000sf addictions recovery centre, River Point Centre, provides a crucial service for urban and rural Manitobans struggling with addictions. The new state-of-the art facility was developed in consultation with the Addictions Foundation of MB, the Main Street Project, the Behavioural Health foundation, the Department of Housing and Community Development, Manitoba Housing, and community residents themselves.

MMP acted as Prime Consultant for the redevelopment of the 50 year old Sharon Home into the new centralized addictions centre for Manitoba. The centre has the capacity to accommodate up to 2,000 individuals annually for treatment and offers a range of services for patients including non-medical detox, an intensive day program, a treatment readiness program, and structured residential treatment. River Point Centre was built to shadow LEED silver standards and was completed on schedule and on budget.

River Point Centre includes 30 transitional housing units which are available to Manitobans from both urban and rural areas. These units provide temporary housing for individuals who are recovering from addiction and need a short-term, supported living environment before returning home. The transitional housing units within River Point Centre are all accessible by elevator, feature wide doorways and clear passages, and have a washroom that can be accessed by visitors who use mobility devices. The transitional housing units at River Point Centre are an excellent example of a VisitAble space.

Irene Baron Eden Centre
Multi-Family Unit Development Category – Honourable Mention

Completed in 2008, this Supportive Housing project was designed and built for the River East Personal Care Home to provide another level of care for people in Winnipeg. The stand-alone 45,700sf facility provides 48 suites, each of which is approximately 480sf. The amenity spaces include a full commercial-style kitchen, multi-purpose rooms, dining area, living area and library in each of the four wings. Irene Baron Eden Centre has been described as a flag ship model for supportive housing by Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and far ahead of its time.

Irene Baron Eden Centre was the first prototype of its kind to truly integrate a senior’s residential facility with personal care home life safety standards. This housing project has been toured by countless groups who are aiming to build a seniors complex that targets a seniors population that require a higher level of care than typically seen in 55 plus residences, but not quite the institution that a personal care home B2 Occupancy provides. This true “supportive housing project” has led the way to other centres to include the necessary life safety upgrades such as smoke control, wander guard, widened corridors, and enhanced exiting facilities into a design model.

The design creates smaller communities of residents (typically 8-12) that share common living, reading, hobby and eating areas. The smaller groups are under the control of a single care giver (no nursing stations) who programs all activities from a small kitchen set up with administration capabilities centered in a lively family living room. Suite sizes are 480sf, about twice that of personal care homes, and provide a fully wheel chair accessible bathroom including a shower. A small living room and kitchenette complete the suite with apartment like amenities.

Irene Baron Eden Centre is a perfect example of a VisitAble space. The entrance of the housing centre does not have a step, and also features widened doors and a motion-censored door opening system. In addition, there are two publicly accessible washrooms within a short distance of the front door, as well as washrooms within each suite that visitors with mobility issues can use with ease. This user-friendly centre easily accommodates the differing needs and requirements of all residents and visitors.