Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

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Astra Building

Formerly:Edmonton Building
Address:208 Edmonton Street
Use:Offices/ Restaurant
Original Use:Pharmacy, medical clinic and offices
Constructed:1956-1957
Other Work:1983, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998, Interior alterations
Architects:Allan Waisman
Firms:Waisman & Ross
Contractors:Wyatt Construction Co. Ltd.

More Information

The Astra Building, 208 Edmonton Street, was designed by local architectural firm Waisman and Ross and constructed between 1956 and 1957.

Upon completion, the top three floors housed insurance companies, while the Kobrinsky Medical Clinic occupied the main floor and basement. To facilitate the movement of clients and tenants between floors, the building featured the first oil-lift principle elevator to be installed in a Winnipeg business block.

A mosaic on the north end of the wall is by artist Robert Bruce. Of the mosaic, the Winnipeg artist commented; “some movement was needed to relieve the severe horizontal and vertical divisions of the building.”

Design Characteristics

  • Site: 60 ft. x 120 ft. (18.29 x 36.58 m)
  • Plan area: 3,540 sq. ft. (328. 87 sq. m)
  • Gross floor area: 17,700 sq. ft. (1,644.33 sq. m)
  • Protected steel and concrete frame, face brick on concrete walls, concrete floors and roof
  • Tile mosaic on front facade of bulding by Winnipeg artist Robert Bruce
  • The front and rear facades feature recessed windows, divided into a grid-like appearance by exposed concrete mullions and alternating horizontal panels of brick
  • On the ground level, the Edmonton Street entrance is off centre and recessed from the street

Sources

  • "Artist says he's a draughtsman," Winnipeg Tribune, November 7, 1964.
  • Robert Bruce, "Tile Mosaic, Astra Building," Journal of the Royal Architectural Institute, 37, 4 (April 1960), p. 145.
  • "$250,000 Building Will Have New Type Elevator," Western Construction and Building, 8, 10 (October 1956), p.11.
  • "'Edmonton Building' For Winnipeg Business Area," Manitoba Industry and Commerce Bulletin, 8, 6 (September 1956), p. 3.

Locations of Supporting Information

  • City of Winnipeg Archives
  • Provincial Archives of Manitoba
  • University of Manitoba Libraries, Department of Archives and Special Collections, Winnipeg Tribune Subject Clipping Research Files

Links & Related Buildings