Winnipeg Architecture Foundation



Gladstone School

Address:500 Gertrude Avenue
Original Use:Educational
Architects:Winnipeg School Division, In-house
Contractors:Trident Construction Co. Ltd.

Design Characteristics

  • Named for the noted British Prime Minister, the first Gladstone School was built near this site in 1898 in the classic manner of the large old public schools; it was demolished when the second Gladstone elementary school opened here in 1962.
  • Unique in Winnipeg, Gladstone School has both a stylish and artistic modern design and remarkable integrity to its period.
  • The school is not large, originally 15 rooms plus the multi-purpose room/gym on the south end along with the administration space and washrooms; its footprint is a simple rectangle with a two-storey superstructure in concrete and steel along a double-loaded corridor
  • It is the wall finishing that sets this design apart for sheltered beneath its wide white overhang is a series of four identical mosaic murals in the horizontal space between the first and second floors of the classrooms bays; the tiles form a geometric pattern in a lively pallet of blue, white, yellow and black; the two long east and west walls are both fully finished this way
  • The walls behind are grey brick and the windows in each bay are patterned with large and small vertical multi-paned openings with white trim; the gym wing and end walls are plain brick.
  • The entrance bay is offset left on the facade and features a wonderfully wavy roof canopy; there is a separate entrance vestibule on the north side; the overall effect of the effect details makes for a cheerful but not cloying appearance.
  • There is a mural on the north side wall that lets onto the playground and a City wading pool.