548 Stradbrook is an eight unit infill development occupying the site of a former fraternity house in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village neighbourhood. Located on a mature residential street lined with turn-of-the-century homes, 100 year-old elm trees and an historic brick church, the building is wrapped in a reflective glass shroud that allows it to be camouflaged with its character-filled surroundings.
The project responds to existing zoning setbacks and density constraints with a three-storey, compact form that contains six two-bedroom flats and two three-bedroom loft units. An 8’ x 40’ band incorporates all required exit stairs and the majority of public corridors. The area gained from reduced internal circulation is given back through generous outdoor space for tenants, including ground floor patios, second floor balconies as well as a large rooftop deck accessed from the third floor mezzanine level.
548 Stradbrook’s cladding treatment draws direct inspiration from its historic context, embodying the high level of workmanship and careful attention to detail present in the construction of neighbouring heritage homes. The design reinterprets traditional lap siding with a custom, shingled glass façade of reflective panels that are overlaid like fish scales both vertically and horizontally across the entire building.
The tempered panels follow a simple grid pattern that allows them to be easily substituted for windows wherever necessary. The mirror-like finish and subtle angling of the glass creates an ephemeral interplay of reflections and light during the day, and transforms the building into a glowing apparition at night.
At the second floor level, a metal canopy wraps the building’s perimeter, supported by a colonnade of thin black columns that lightly touch the sidewalk below. Functionally, the canopy defines a front yard patio space and sheltered walking path for tenants. Aesthetically, the canopy provides a stable counterpoint and grounding element to balance the ever- changing nature of the glass façade above.