Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

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Buildings

Britannia House

Formerly:Britannia House
Address:338 Broadway
Use:Office
Original Use:Office
Constructed:1962-1963
Other Work:1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, Interior renovations
Architects:Waisman Ross
Firms:Waisman Ross
Engineers:Krause and MacDonald (Structural)
Klein and Dashevsky (Mechanical)
Contractors:North American Construction

More Information

The design for this building by architectural firm Waisman Ross was a finalist for the Massey Medal in Architecture in 1964. The group of architects who designed the six-storey office building at 338 Broadway later became the prominent and established Number Ten Architectural Group.

For many years the building housed the Sun Life Insurance Company and, since 1991, has been the home of Me-Dian Credit Union. As its name suggests, Britannia House was owned and built by the Metropolitan Estate and Property Corporation (MEPC), a development company with significant British investment that was instrumental in the evolution of Broadway from a quiet residential street of old mansions and apartment blocks to a commercial hub showcasing many fine examples of Modernist commercial architecture.

Employing a structural frame of reinforced concrete columns with cellular two-way slab floors, Britannia House features a striking minimalist facade of dramatic white mullions, offset with black precast aggregate panels that overhang a glassed podium on the ground floor. A recessed entrance behind a broad stairway from the sidewalk further articulates this illusion of a “floating” design.

Recognition and Awards

  • Massey Medal finalist (1964)

Design Characteristics

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Sources

  • "MEPC," Winnipeg Free Press, July 28, 1964.
  • "Britannia House Office Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba," RAIC Journal, November 1964, p. 83.
  • "Interview with R.C. Baxter", Western Construction and Building, November 1962, p.22-24
  • Eric Wells. Winnipeg: Where the New West Begins. Windsor: Windsor Publications, 1982, p. 256
  • Photograph, of Britannia House, Western Construction and Building, December 1963, p. 30

Locations of Supporting Information

  • City of Winnipeg Archives

Links & Related Buildings