Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

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Cibinel Architects Limited

Biography

In 1993 architects George Cibinel and Doug Corbett partnered to establish the firm of Corbett Cibinel Architects Limited. The new business soon found work with a number of small renovation, residential and care home projects. Larger assignments arrived by the late 1990s with undertakings such as that for the Franco-Manitoban Heritage Centre (340 Provencher Boulevard, 1998; also known as the Centre du Patrimoine). The experimental design for this space – which involved a lobby space and library – combined a generally contemporary plansegments of the historic Empire Hotel (Cauchon Block) incorporated into the reception area.

The partnership gained greater attention for their extensive and remarkable work creating a new location for Red River College (160 Princess Street, 2003). This ensemble of buildings entailed the restoration of a row of extant landmark structures and the fashioning of an impressive spine-like atrium behind them; the project is typified by the sharp differentiation between old and new sections, while – as at the Centre du Patrimoine – demonstrating a compelling respect for past construction. This assignment was succeeded by a win of an international competition held by the city of Winnipeg for the redesign of the iconic urban corner of Portage and Main (2004). Corbett Cibinel’s concept for this upgrade involved the insertion of sculptural lighting and multiple glazed atria linking the site’s above ground and below ground spaces, as well as the addition of native planting, colourful paving and wind turbines. Another notable work of this period is the Environmental Safety Building, (University of Manitoba, 2005) wherein a delicate combination of limestone and metal, the latter largely in a strikingly angled roof, create an exciting composition out of what might have otherwise been a simple functional structure for the movement of waste materials. Similarly, the office made use of such details as clerestory windows and extensive natural lighting to elevate the straightforward Eastman Education Centre (Steinbach, Manitoba, 2006).

In 2006, George Cibinel became the operating partner of Corbett Cibinel Architects Limited and as of 1 April 2008 the previous practice took the name of Cibinel Architects Limited. The firm, however, maintained continuity in its interest in projects which integrate the new and the historic. An example of this is the Assiniboine Community College Culinary Arts building (Assiniboine College, Brandon, Manitoba, 2007), an assignment which commenced with restoration and redesign of an early twentieth century building and proceeded to add an unmistakably and remarkably contemporary metal and glass area containing teaching kitchen. Also remarkable is the firm’s H2Office project (150 Innovation Drive, 2010). This notable design features a sleek, one-storey office block set atop a retention pond, held aloft by slender columns; the plan won the office a Prairie Design Award of Excellence and a National Design Exchange Award Honourable Mention. Another significant from this phase is the modern but homey Centre Place Manitoba Olympic Pavilion (Vancouver, 2010), a temporary structure intended to manifest the energy of Manitoba and to communicate the province’s role as a centre for culture and trade – particularly that which involves environmental sustainability. To that end the prefabricated building – which made extensive use of translucent panels – was partially constructed from one hundred elm trees previously felled in the province’s capitol to prevent the spread of Dutch elm disease.

In November of 2012 it was announced that Cibinel Architects Limited – which maintains offices at 420-A Stradbrook Avenue – would serve as Associate and Technical Architect for the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art and Learning Centre, with Micheal Maltzan selected to design facility.

Projects

  • Franco-Manitoban Heritage Centre (Centre du Patrimoine), 340 Provencher Boulevard, 1998
  • Red River College, 160 Princess Street, 2003
  • Portage and Main redesign, 2004
  • Aboriginal Student Centre, University of Winnipeg, 2005
  • Environmental Safety Building, University of Manitoba, 2005
  • Assiniboine Community College Culinary Arts building, Assiniboine College, Brandon, Manitoba, 2007
  • Apotex Centre, University of Manitoba, McDermot Avenue, 2008
  • Cercle Moliere, Provencher Boulevard, 2009
  • Centre Place Manitoba Olympic Pavilion (temporary), Vancouver, 2010
  • Eastman Education Centre, Steinbach, Manitoba, 2006
  • H2Office, 150 Innovation Drive, 2010
  • Brandon Firehall, Brandon, Manitoba, 2010
  • Active Living Centre, with Batteriid Architects (Iceland), University of Manitoba, 2014