MMP Architects Inc.
The partnership between Herbert Moody and Robert Moore, which became known as Moody Moore Architects – and later, MMP Architects – began in 1936. Herbert Moody was an extremely talented designer who pushed the envelope of modern architecture at the time. The firm’s modern outlook was cemented in a project that same year when, Moody and Moore were given the opportunity to design a new Hudson’s Bay Store in Edmonton on the site of the previous (1893 and 1912) stores. With its signature rounded corners, black Quebec granite, Manitoba Tyndall limestone, glass blocks, and stainless steel exterior, the project was a jewel of the Art Moderne style, acclaimed as an historical resource by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1989.
Through the post-war era, MMP continued to produce award winning projects which exemplified a greatly celebrated international style of architecture. Versatile in its range of abilities, Moody Moore came to specialize in hospital, laboratory and other medical facilities; a natural development given Moody’s war-time experience. The firm’s work in this niche included the Red Cross Lodge at Deer Lodge Military Hospital (1945) and in 1948, the Red Cross Division Headquarters on Osborne Street North. With its clean lines, strip-like windows, glass atrium and extensive spans of Tyndall stone, the latter building was a symbol the possibilities involved in the fusion of Modernist inspiration and local detail. These projects were followed quickly by regional hospitals in Virden and Morden in the early 1950s, the Women’s Pavilion of the Winnipeg General Hospital (1951) and the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital (1952). A noteworthy work was the Princess Elizabeth Hospital (on the present site of the Riverview Health Centre), the opening of which was delayed until 1954 by flooding. This project was followed by a $3 million Veterans Affairs Hospital and a design for the Winnipeg General Hospital in 1960. Three years later, Moody Moore built the Manitoba Rehabilitation Hospital and, in 1972, the high-rise Medical Arts Building and parkade (233 Kennedy Street).
Education was another early area of expertise for Moody and Moore. In the early post war period they designed the Lac du Bonnet School, Churchill High School (510 Hay Street, 1953), Harrow School (550 Harrow Street, 1954) and St. John’s College and Chapel at the University of Manitoba (1958). Perhaps the most significant of these educational endeavours was the firm’s work in the early 1970s, on the expansion of the University of Winnipeg. The first of these efforts was the addition known as Lockhart Hall, an imposing Late Modernist composition of dark brick, which reflected contemporary architectural trends, particularly those in the United Kingdom; another was the dramatic Centennial Hall addition of 1973.
Moody Moore Architects also had a number of significant projects in the area of commerce – particularly along Broadway in Winnipeg. Included in these is the Investors Syndicate Building (280 Broadway), which was built in two stages, in 1956 and 1962. Moody Moore’s office, which served as their home from 1948 until 1984, is a low rectangular masonry structure (since remodeled), across the street at 295 Broadway. The nearby Sovereign Life Building (1956) and Mercantile Bank (1972) followed soon after.
In 1957, Moody Moore used steel, concrete and masonry construction for the new head office for Manitoba Hydro (820 Taylor Avenue). The National Revenue Building followed in 1958, with a two-storey addition in 1968 to bring it to its present appearance. Another significant work was the Bestlands Building (191 Pioneer Avenue, 1974), a high-rise tower which now houses the offices of MTS.
Now in its 5th generation of ownership, MMP Architects continues to break new ground in architectural excellence. Following the lead set by its previous four generations of ownership, the firm invests heavily in its staff while challenging the conventional. Thanks to this rich heritage and strong vision, MMP Architects is a thriving practice that continues to secure new and interesting commissions while developing long-term, successful relationships with its clients.