Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

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Waisman Ross

Biography

Waisman Ross was founded by Allan Waisman and Jack Ross, who were recent University of Manitoba graduates when they established the firm in May 1953. Their offices were located at Room 308-356 Main Street in the Great Western Building. Much of Waisman and Ross’s early practice consisted of small rural hospitals; one of these was a hospital in Teulon, Manitoba which won the firm a Massey Medal in Architecture honourable mention. Larger commissions in Winnipeg came in 1955 and 1956, and, notably, included the new Winnipeg Builders Exchange offices at 290 Burnell Street, a clean-lined, classically proportioned building in which the courtyard space contained a mosaic-mural by renowned Canadian artist Takao Tanabe. Another example of public art – again in mosaic-mural – is a Robert Bruce piece gracing the entrance arcade of the Astra Building, at 208 Edmonton Street, another Waisman Ross building of the same year..

During the early 1960s, Waisman Ross completed the New York Life Building (385 St. Mary Avenue, 1957), a two-storey glass and steel office of understated proportions and detailing. In 1961, the firm won a silver Massey Medal for its design of the multi-use Thompson Municipal Building and another silver medal for Waisman’s design of his own summer cottage in Husavik, on Lake Winnipeg, a wood and glass structure that blurs the separation between interior and exterior, nature and structure. This era also saw the practice enter into a business relationship with local developer R.C. Baxter, who employed Waisman Ross to build four office buildings along Broadway between 1961 and 1964. These projects, all of a modernist character, included the Imperial Oil Offices (379 Broadway, 1961), Premier Life (360 Broadway, 1962) and Britannia House, 338 Broadway, 1962). It was during this time that Waisman and Ross designed and built its own office at 10 Donald Street, a structure large enough to be shared with its partner – the engineering firm of Klein and Dashevsky.

Waisman Ross merged with and Blankstein Coop Gillmor Hanna in 1964. The amalgamated practice was located in the former Waisman Ross office building. Following a period operating as Waisman Ross Blankstein Coop Gillmore Hanna, this ungainly title was changed to Number TEN Architects, in honour of the building’s street address.

Projects

  • Daly Display Limited, 1688 St. Matthew's Street, 1953
  • Hospitals in Melita, Deloraine, Crystal City, Glenboro, Grandview and St. Pierre, Manitoba, 1953-55
  • Hunter Memorial Hospital, Teulon, Manitoba, 1955
  • Municipal Hall, St. Pierre, Manitoba, 1955
  • Waisman Residence home, 474 South Drive, 1956
  • Winnipeg Builder’s Exchange, 290 Burnell Street, 1956
  • Blackwood Beverages, 1850 Ellice Avenue, 1957
  • Gibson Building, 320 Donald Street, 1957
  • Astra Building, 208 Edmonton Street, Winnipeg, 1957
  • New York Life Building, 385 St. Mary Avenue, Winnipeg, 1957
  • City Centre Hotel, 367 Ellice Avenue, 1957
  • St. Hedwig's Church, Brandon, Manitoba, 1957
  • St. Augustine School and Parish Hall, Brandon, Manitoba, 1958
  • St. Paul the Apostle Church 2400 Portage Avenue, 1959
  • IBM Offices, 373 Broadway, Winnipeg, 1960
  • Municipal Offices, Thompson, Manitoba, Municipal Offices, 1961
  • Waisman Cottage, Husavik, Manitoba, 1961
  • Imperial Oil Offices, 379 Broadway, Winnipeg, 1961
  • Britannia House, 338 Broadway, Winnipeg, 1962
  • Assiniboine Credit Union, 300 Assiniboine Avenue, 1962
  • Women’s Residence, University of Manitoba (Mary Speechly Hall), 1963
  • Food Services Building (Pembina Hall), University of Manitoba, 1963
  • Central Park Lodge, 440 Edmonton Street, 1963
  • Britannia House Office Building, 338 Broadway Avenue, 1963
  • Unicity Mall, Portage Avenue, 1963
  • Waisman and Ross Architects office, 10 Donald Street, 1964
  • Addition to Tec-Voc High School, 1964
  • St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church, 250 Jefferson Avenue, 1964
  • Ross Residence, 630 Cloutier Drive, 1964
  • Crop Research Centre, University of Manitoba, 1964
  • Toronto Dominion Bank, 200 Regent Avenue, 1964