The ARTlab is the first phase of a Music, Art, and Theatre facility that combines new construction with a repurposed and renovated 1914 student residence, Tache Hall. The ARTlab was designed and constructed in an expedited manner, separately from the overall project, to avail of federal stimulus funding arising from the 2009 recession.
The 70,000 sq ft ARTlab program consists of large art spaces that complement the small art spaces within Tache Hall. It includes a national-standard gallery, a lecture hall, a soundstage, administration, and a variety of new and traditional media studios.
The volume of the ARTlab interlocks with the volume of Tache Hall, reinforcing that the two buildings are an integrated arts facility. Together they form an intimately scaled courtyard between old and new, and provide the ARTlab with a presence on Duckworth Quadrangle, the principal outdoor space within the university campus. To facilitate critical urban connections to south of the project, the north side of the building is raised one storey above grade. The plaza below forms the entrance to the ARTlab, and creates a generous covered outdoor space for school and gallery events.
The School of Art Gallery, the main public facility in the project, is on the main floor. The lecture hall and soundstage are below grade. To take advantage of daylight, the studios and administration are on the upper two floors. An intimately scaled atrium dynamically links the upper floors to below grade spaces as well as the campus tunnel network, a key pedestrian route during the bitterly cold Winnipeg winter months. This atrium is animated by south daylight, and forms the central circulation space and social heart of the building.
The exterior juxtaposes modern construction methods with the historic masonry construction of Tache Hall. The east and south elevations are reticent: large-scale screen walls that support Virginia Creeper. Constructed from aluminum grilles suspended a meter from the face of the building envelope, these screen walls modulate sunlight while providing privacy from the nearby school of business. The creeper is growing at about 8 ft per year, and over time will form a seasonably variable vertical xeriscape. The north elevation is fully glazed so that the studios within benefit from diffuse daylight and provide an active expression of the School of Art on Duckworth Quadrangle beyond.
Prairie Design Award of Excellence, 2014
Manitoba Premier's Design Aweard of Excellence, 2016
Governor General's Medal in Architecture, 2016