Centre Village is a 25-unit housing co-op located on a small infill lot in Winnipeg’s Central Park neighbourhood. The project strives to create a true community – a housing village – within modest means and extensive external factors.
The design is based on simple, 8’ x 12’ modules organized on a central spine or “bar”. The sizes of all rooms are based on European standards, compressing the North American norm while still producing livable space and ultimately allowing the site density required by the business plan. Occasionally, the base module is replaced by a larger 14’ x 12’ unit that cantilevers off the main spine to necessarily expand the master bedroom and living room. All upper units have their own rooftop patio, and any second-storey units are accessed by exterior staircases.
While the housing units are small, the 8’ band allowed each unit to have views in multiple orientations, as well as cross-ventilation. A vibrant orange colour, used to define the ceiling plane in the space and reflect light, is projected out of the living spaces through the window cowlings, which punch the interior space out of the building, capturing views and extending the perceived living spaces outdoors. A typical unit has eight or more windows, liberally scattered throughout to help mediate the smaller internal space, and broaden the sense of space and reflected light.
These bars of housing are arranged around two shared inner collective spaces – a landscaped courtyard and an internal streetscape. Every unit has a private entrance from one of these two shared spaces provided to foster individuality as well as connectivity to the larger community of occupants. While inviting the general public into the development, the window and suite orientations have been organized to put eyes on the common spaces to providing safety and security.
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Architect: 5468796 Architecture