Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

Places

Buildings

Centre Taché

Address:185 rue Despins
Constructed:1973
Architects:Étienne Gaboury and Jim Nishikawa
Engineers:Burgoyne and Thomassen (structural)
T.B.J. Kruselnicki (mechanical)
K.A. Hand

More Information

Centre Taché opened as the Taché Nursing Centre on St. Patrick's Day, 1973. The facility replaced Taché Hospital which had stood at a nearby location since 1882, reaching its peak occupancy, 410 patients, in 1969. Altogether, 200 patients moved from Taché Hospital to Centre Taché, including 103-year-old resident Rusie Rat. (Taché Hospital became defunct in April 1973 and was demolished soon after.)

The new Centre Taché took the form of a dramatic Y-shaped plan with wings projecting outward from the inner service core. Built at a cost of $3 million, the new nursing centre was deemed “one of the most modern of its kind in Western Canada.” Funding for the project came from the provincial government with a federally guaranteed grant. When it opened, the Taché Nursing Centre had 200 beds - 152 single-bed rooms and 24 double-bed rooms - and was staffed by 210 part-time and full-time employees. Centre Taché was expanded in 1976 by Gaboury Lussier Sigurdson Architects and again in 2002 with an addition by Gaboury Préfontaine Perry Architects. The building, comprised of two Y-shaped interconnected structures, is extensively clad in Manitoba Tyndall limestone, with a curvaceous, sculptural treatment of form. Worthy of note is the small chapel attached to the building’s north-east, which features an inventive window composition – an exploration of the relationship between mass and opening, wall and window, light and dark. This element relates the space to Gaboury's larger ouevre. Gaboury described this interest as such: "In architecture the window is therefore crucial, and by extension, so is glass. Glass and light are co-dependents; they are soul mates; they celebrate each other."