MMP Christmas Hamper 2015

Inspired by a thoughtful staff member, this year, the staff at MMP Architects put together a Christmas hamper through the Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board. Our staff were extremely generous, which allowed us to go above and beyond the recommended items (not pictured are all of the perishable items) for a large family that required some assistance this Holiday season.

The hamper was delivered earlier this week. The recipients were very thankful for the food and gifts that were provided. If you, or your place of employment is interested in the important work the Feed-a-Family program run by the Christmas Cheer Board provides please visit their website here.

Bridgwater Personal Care Home Public Announcement

On Wednesday morning, a press conference was held to publicly announce the Bridgwater Personal Care Home Facility. The new facility, to be located in the new Bridgwater neighbourhood, will be operated by Winnipeg Mennonite Senior's Care Inc., and funded through the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Manitoba Health. While the project has been in the works for many years,  this announcement allowed the public to see the design behind this 120-bed Personal Care Home Facility.

In early 2014, MMP was awarded the proposal for a new Personal Care Home Facility to be located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The design and operational intent of the project is to provide a new means of “home” care for residents. In designing a new personal care home model, MMP engaged The Center for Health Design in the United States. Their knowledge base and depth of research in innovative means of environmental design solutions are continuously improving the well being of both its residents and staff. With many successful facilities registered under “the Pebble Project,” Bridgwater Personal Care Home aims to provide this new ‘culture’ of health care with their help.

Currently, Bridgwater is in Working Drawings phase, with an anticipated construction start of Summer 2016. The home will be just over 113,000 square feet with six separate houses, split between two floors. Each home provides a full kitchen with dining and living spaces with in-house residential washer and dryers. Residential suites will include a bay window with built in millwork and roll in shower washrooms. Common areas and offices are treated with the appearance of a town centre where residents will exit their home environments and enter into the community supported environment.

The Bridgwater model will be the first of its kind in Winnipeg. The project is being built to LEED standards, and is intended to achieve LEED Silver status.

Bridgwater Personal Care Home Team
Project Architect: Robert Wrublowsky
Lead Designer: Aleksandra Chomik
Architectural Intern: Aaron Simoes
Interior Designer: Kristin Reischek
Senior Technician: Mike Hamson

Please see the gallery above for a few photos from the press conference, and a rendering of the exterior of the building.

MITT 14 Fultz Blvd.

Formerly known as Winnipeg Technical College, the new Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT) provides secondary and post-secondary students with applied skills training in trades, health care, information technology and other technical fields. MITT currently has several campus locations and is currently developing a master plan for expanding their Henlow/Fultz location.

The MMP Architects team, lead by principal architect Robert Wrublowsky, provided a collaborative design process for the MITT teams at their new 14 Fultz Blvd. location. The existing staff training and server space was transformed into a combination of MITT executive offices, classrooms (6), and student service facilities. The partial renovation included life safety and accessibility upgrades, as well as a focus on materials re-use which included salvaging and relocating all steel doors and light fixtures, incorporating 50% of the existing partitions in the new design, and re-using 80% of the existing ceiling materials. Working with MITT’s freshly minted corporate identity design guidelines, finishes were selected throughout to provide both a modern look as well as a professional atmosphere.

In fall 2015, MITT’s new second floor space at 14 Fultz Blvd. opened to students and staff. The newly revitalized space now boasts a design that will be appropriate for both executive offices and classrooms for years to come.

MITT Fultz Project Team
Project Architect: Robert Wrublowsky
Architectural Intern: Aaron Simoes
Interior Designer: Kristin Reischek

Please see the gallery above for a few photos of the new space, and click here to learn more about the new Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology.

2016 Warming Huts Competition Winners Announced

It's always an exciting day when the Warming Huts competition winners are announced. Endorsed by the Manitoba Association of Architects, Warming Huts competition entries are submitted online, then selected through a blind jury process. The huts will be constructed along the Red River Mutual Trail in late January, and open to the public to view and interact with throughout the winter season.

What do you think of this year's chosen designs? Check them out here.

The MMP Fireballs

This past spring and summer MMP Architects put together a team of staff and friends and participated in the Winnipeg Rec softball league. While talents varied from “sometimes gets on first,” to “lady-killer,” to “grand slam master,” and to “team captain,” I think it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed their time getting out of the office and playing some ball with the Fireballs team.

Thanks to our bosses who sponsored the team, to all that came out to play, and to the Boston Pizza staff who helped us celebrate after most games. A few photos of our time can be found in the gallery above.

On the Boards _032

On the Boards, is a Storefront Manitoba initiative, “…aimed at strengthening [the] architectural community through camaraderie, sharing, discussion and critique of work among peers.” MMP Architects was pleased to participate in last week’s 32nd On the Boards event, where architectural intern Aaron Simoes presented a current project to the attending group of architects, landscape architects, interior designers and planning professionals. Participants had a range of experience and included students, interns, and practicing professionals providing an ideal space to share new ideas and forge new connections. Due to the confidential nature of the event, we can’t give any specific details; however, we can attest that the discussion and feedback surrounding MMP’s presentation provided a fresh perspective, and will surely strengthen the project moving forward.

Special thanks to HTFC for hosting the event and to Storefront Manitoba for their dedication to advancing the awareness and appreciation of architecture, design and the built environment throughout Manitoba. MMP is looking forward to continuing our involvement with Storefront Manitoba, including participation at future On the Boards events.

Aura Hair Salon

Aura salon, located in Kildonan Place Shopping Centre, is the most recent hair salon renovation to be completed by MMP Architects. The primary goal of this refresh was to create a more modern environment with an open concept layout that included clean lines, bright lighting, and a muted palate featuring only a hint of turquoise inspired by the Moroccan Oil product line.

A major challenge of the renovation was determining how to successfully update existing elements to match a more modern aesthetic. In the case of the retail shelving, the existing built in units were kept, but updated by adding under-cabinet lighting and painting the outdated wood paneling white. Additional challenges of the space included the constraints of working within a small footprint, and under a tight timeline.

The storefront upgrade was a significant undertaking as the existing front section was completely demolished to make way for a more open and inviting reception and retail area. This renovation allows clients to have a direct line of sight from the front to the rear of the salon, as well as providing an expanded entry space for reception desk access and additional space for product displays.

A grand re-opening for Aura, Kildonan Place is planned for the coming weeks. Patrons will be welcomed into the new space by the large asymmetrical storefront façade that frames the entrance feature, the custom ultramodern quartz reception desk. The waterfall edge and back-painted glass front of the reception desk are highlighted by three unique diamond shaped pendants hanging from the reception ceiling above. As patrons move through to the back of the space, they are greeted by a neutral palate with hints of turquoise. The existing ceiling, a mishmash of acoustic ceiling tiles, dropped bulkheads and drywall was removed to make way for crisp white ceiling panels and multiple rows of pot lighting.

Please see the gallery above for a few photos of the new space, and click here for more about Aura, Kildonan Place.

Aura Project Team
Lead Interior Designer: Jessica Kost
Interior Designer: Kristin Reischek
Project Architect: Chris Daly

YMCA-YWCA West Portage Interior Renovations

The 47,000 square foot YMCA-YWCA West Portage location is a significant landmark of the area; open to members and visitors 16 hours per day, 364 days a year. Its program offerings are extensive - a fitness centre, gymnasium, a pool, an interior play structure, babysitting services for members, and both school-aged and pre-school daycare facilities.

MMP was commissioned in late 2013 to provide an interior refresh to the existing West Portage YMCA-YWCA facility. The primary goal of this refresh was to create a more contemporary and welcoming environment, which in turn would both improve the space for current members, as well as increase membership by drawing in a larger clientele. MMP’s role in this process was to provide a design simply to update the finishes in the existing spaces. Upon re-evaluation of the current and future program requirements, this initial refresh project scope evolved into a more intensive interior renovation that addressed the YMCA-YWCA’s brand identity, user and staff functionality, efficiencies in circulation, and overall member experience.

The space required major changes in order to achieve the above revised goals, some highlights include the following. A re-oriented lobby space featuring an expansive reception desk aims to minimize queues during peak hours, and help staff ensure member security. The relocation of the fitness studio, which hosts a variety of classes offered by the facility, provides a larger, open space flooded with natural daylight. The upgraded locker and shower rooms now feature private change stalls and an increase in the quantity of lockers.

Upgrades that contribute to the overall user experience include the introduction of a warm interior palate anchored by stone and wood finishes. Punches of the signature orange-red that brands the space as the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg lead users through the space. Wood ceiling canopies and vegetation scattered in planters throughout the fitness area provide both privacy to members watching their children swim in the viewing area, as well as to those making use of the fitness facilities. Because the facility experiences such high traffic, the flow of people through the space and quality and durability of finishes are were of prime concern.

In Spring 2015, the centre reopened with its numerous new and exciting features such as a dedicated space for Cyclefit, an expanded free weight area, a new functional training area, a dedicated Youth Zone and more.

YMCA-YWCA West Portage Project Team
Lead Interior Designer: Hailey Connor
Project Architect: Chris Daly
Technician: Bill MacDonald

Springfield Place, Oakbank MB

Springfield Place, located in Oakbank Manitoba, is MMP’s most recently completed senior’s housing development. The project consists of a 26,000 square foot new building which houses 12 assisted living* suites and 12 supportive housing** units. Through the joint effort between Manitoba Housing, the R.M. of Springfield, the Interlake Eastern Regional Health Authority and the Oakbank-Springfield Kinsmen Seniors Complex Inc. Board of Directors, Springfield Place is able to help meet the needs of the community’s fast growing senior’s population.

Key aspects of the Springfield Place design include full landscape works, a commercial kitchen capable of providing meal services three times a day, and two multipurpose rooms. In addition, each wing includes a solarium space and exterior patios for residents. All supportive units have been designed to exceed accessibility standards for both the suite washrooms and kitchens.

The building incorporates both passive and active sustainable systems. These environmentally responsible project additions include geothermal heating and cooling, power smart compliant lighting, and energy efficient insulation and windows in the wall and roof assemblies.

For more information about Springfield Place, please visit their website. For more information about seniors housing categories, please see below. If you have further questions about implementing a senior’s housing project in your community, please contact MMP principal architect Robert Wrublowsky, who is a level-three EDAC practitioner, and is paving the way for implementation of new seniors housing standards throughout the province of Manitoba.

Springfield Place Project Team
Project Architect: Robert Wrublowsky
Senior Designer: Rex Salanguit
Senior Technician: Neil Laurel
Millwork: Bill Macdonald


*Assisted Living
An assisted living model is more closely aligned with a seniors 55 plus condominium residence than a supportive housing prototype. A typical resident of an assisted living project is fairly mobile and still independent. Assisted living projects provide seniors with affordable lifestyle while providing opportunity for housekeeping and meal services; they may also receive in home care for other needed services.

**Supportive Housing
Supportive Housing models are a form of seniors housing that is most common among individuals that are beginning to have mobility challenges, and are somewhat independent most of the time, however require access to 24/7 supervision by a care giver. Often these individuals are not cognitively impaired, but they may experience slight bouts of dementia or confusion. Individuals living in a supportive housing project are typically independent enough to not qualify for a personal care seniors’ home. They may barely be a candidate for a level 1 rating under PCH guidelines.

Melee at the Met

MMP was a proud sponsor of the third annual Melee at the Met event on Thursday September 10, 2015. Held at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre, the event saw the space transform into a venue for a live international Olympic-style boxing championship. This year’s fundraiser, in support of United Boxing Club, featured six international boxing matches between Team Canada and Team USA.

Principals of the firm, Robert Wrublowsky and Chris Daly represented MMP’s commitment to give back to the community through their sponsorship at the event. In a surprising turn of events, they were asked to present a championship belt for one of the matches, as a thank-you for their donations!

A few photos from the event can be seen above, and more information about the Melee at the Met event, the United Boxing Club, and future sponsorship opportunities can be found here:

Gillis Quarries Site Tour

This summer, Gillis Quarries gave architecture and design industry professionals the opportunity to tour their stone quarry in Garson, Manitoba. With Jeffrey Dolovich and Keith Gillis as our guides, a number of MMP staff attended one of the tour dates last week.

Gillis Quarries was founded in 1910, and has grown over the last decade into Manitoba’s largest stone quarry, specializing in Tyndall Stone. This porous, light stone has an intricate grey veining pattern of magnesium carbonate which was created by the burrowing of ancient marine creatures within the calcium carbonate bed 450 million years ago. Tyndall stone is quarried only in Manitoba, and can be seen gracing the exteriors of many civic buildings throughout Winnipeg.

Tyndall stone was favoured by many architects and designers at the turn of the century. MMP Architects has a vast history of using Tyndall stone as can be seen on the Centennial Concert Hall, the Manitoba Museum, Broadway Disciples Church, the Great West Life Building, the Manitoba Building at 270 Osborne, and more. An exhibit of Tyndall stone and its uses throughout Winnipeg’s history was put together by the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation in 2013, it’s an interesting read and can be found here.

Our tour of the quarry was fascinating. Tour attendees were able to get down into the quarry and see how the stone is cut with two different diamond blade saws, how a crew extracts 8-tonne blocks of the limestone, and how the blocks are stacked, labeled, and prepared for processing. The tour also included a look at the processing plant where we were able to observe the cutting and finishing of shapes and mouldings with saws, lathes, planers, and grinders.

MMP would like to extend our thanks to Gillis Quarries for the engaging tour of their operations. For more information on the quarry please visit the Gillis Quarries website here.

Please see above for a few photos from the tour.

2015 MMP Staff Retreat

Last week MMP Architects employees turned on our “out of office” email notifications, locked the office doors, and took off on our annual staff retreat. This highly anticipated work event brings all of the MMP employees together for a three day stay at a cabin on the shores of Lake Winnipeg. Our break from the office provides staff the time to regroup, bond as a team, work together in a team building exercise, and unwind together.

Some highlights from our time away included bonfires, cribbage matches, pontoon boat adventures, sea doo drives, tubing wipe-outs, beach lounging, dance parties, limbo, team games, frisbee matches, some amazing meals, drinks, and snacks and much more. A feature of this year’s retreat was the Amazing race game that sparked some friendly competition between three teams of MMP staff who raced through the bush following GPS waypoints, answered MMP trivia, and ended up using slingshots to launch marshmallows at a teammate sitting in a chair in the middle of the lake. The race was tight, and with only a 6 second lead, team red (Marty's team) pulled ahead right at the end with a perfectly aimed marshmallow.

What a great thing it is to work for a company that values bonding together as a team! A big thank you to all the folks that helped make our time away such a great group experience.

Please see above for a few photos from our weekend together.

Access St. Boniface Site Tour

MMP is currently in the construction stage, acting as primary consultant, for a new bilingual Health Access Centre in Saint Boniface, Winnipeg. The Centre will house Centre de Santé Saint-Boniface, a staple in health services in St. Boniface, alongside several other health and community organizations. Access Saint Boniface will provide easier access to bilingual health and community services including primary health, primary care, mental health, early learning and childcare, disability, and home care.

On Thursday August 13, 2015, six MMP staff had the opportunity to visit the new 50,000 sf building located at the corner of Goulet and Kenny. Intern Architect and Contract Administrator, Kristin Szuminsky showed staff around the construction site pointing out specific details, project intentions, and construction issues and solutions, throughout the four floors and accessible roof. With an anticipated project completion date of Spring/Summer 2016, the site tour provided an excellent behind-the-scenes look at the construction stage of a project that MMP Architects has been working on for the past two years.

Special thanks to Kristin and site supervisor, John Labay for the tour and access to the space.
More information on Winnipeg’s Access Centres can be found here

Access Saint Boniface Project Team
Project Architect: Chris Daly
Intern Architect and Contract Administration: Kristin Szuminsky
Lead Interior Designer: Hailey Connor
Senior Technician: Neil Laurel

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.