The Architecture49 Head office is situated on a 5.6-acre, pie-shaped lot in Winnipeg’s south end; it demonstrates how the built environment can be used to increase communication, enhance productivity, improve employee satisfaction, and raise the profile of the company.
"This new facility represents the physical manifestation of a paradigm shift from traditional service model to intellectual capital model… flexible and free for spatial organization, adaptable to different project teams over time, and functioning as a social equalizer that becomes the new workplace."
Primarily designed as a work studio, the two-storey open office space has a large lecture theatre, a proliferation of flexible meeting areas that facilitate different types of group interaction, shared layout tables, reservable workstations and video conferencing facilities. The skybox on the upper floor features multipurpose furniture, breakout areas with games for casual get-togethers, secluded training areas, a quiet room, small workout facility and an “elbow bar” ideal for reviewing project files.
The building expresses leadership in environmental responsibility and is an ongoing experimental arena for new materials, technologies, and design concepts that foster learning and knowledge transfer. The building uses regional products to reduce embodied energy and support local economic activity, incorporating rapidly renewable materials which regenerate in less than ten years, concentrating on achieving superior environmental quality. Other features include durable stainless steel exterior cladding made from recycled steel, building orientation that takes advantage of solar shading and windbreaks, motorized blinds in the studio that respond and adjust for optimum natural lighting and to manage heat gain throughout the day, motion sensor lighting throughout, fixtures that reduce water use, rapidly renewable paneling materials made from straw and sunflower seed shells, as well as recycled materials in rebar, carpeting, flooring and exterior decks.