ft3 is a mid-sized Winnipeg based architecture, landscape and interior design firm celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015. The company was founded in 1975 as Friesen Tokar Architects by partners Rudy Friesen and Brian Tokar. Friesen, having received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1960, had previously worked with the Winnipeg firms of Smith Carter Searle & Associates and Moody Moore & Partners. Tokar is also a graduate of the University of Manitoba Faculty of Architecture. In 1986, the firm – having added partners Phil Reynolds, Stan Rhoda and Henry Neufeld – adopted the name Friesen Tokar Reynolds Rhoda Neufeld Architectural Partnership. The switch to the name ft3, and a change in partnership, occurred during the 2000s.
The firm specializes in health, multi-unit housing, and corporate office projects, and has a sizeable portfolio of senior’s housing and personal care homes. The latter includes Fisher River (2007); Salem Home, Winkler, Mb; Oxford House (2008); Rosetown, Sk (2010); Bigger, Sk (2010). These homes are designed around a progressive model that incorporates small households and collective ‘downtown’ spaces, a concept coined Chez Nous by partner emeritus Rudy Friesen.
Other notable projects include the RCMP Student Dormitory (Regina, 2012), a competition winning scheme for a complex of the three bold, neo-modernist structures, each to accommodate 224 cadets and designed to exceed LEED Silver. Similar goals of environmental efficiency were involved in the plans for the Concord Hall Student Residence (Canadian Mennonite University, 2005) the Osborne Village Rapid Transit Station (2012); the Stonewall Heritage Arts Centre (Stonewall, Manitoba, 2011), which contains an interpretive centre, exhibition space and dance and art classrooms; and Winkler Centennial Library (Winkler, Manitoba, 2006). The firm’s downtown office, located on Waterfront Drive, is housed in the eco-friendly six-storey condominium block The Strand (2007).