University of Manitoba ARTlab

Winnipeg, Manitoba

ARTlab represents the first phase of a major investment into a state-of-the-art Creative Arts Facility on the University of Manitoba campus. The integrated hub is devoted to optimizing art studies, teaching and research opportunities in an environment that stimulates the artistic process.
The redevelopment adjoins new construction to the century-old Tache Hall Residence Building — where the School of Art’s smaller studios and offices reside but “large rooms” could no longer be contained. A central atrium vertically links all building floors and ties into Tache Hall through overhead bridges, as well as intersects with the underground tunnel system, forming the social heart of the building.
Organized based on programmatic proximity and daylighting, the tunnel level offers lecture space and a sound stage while the main floor maximizes the entrance plaza and leads into a temperature controlled art gallery. The gallery can accept international exhibits and is a foreground for students to display their work. The two upper floors extend beyond the main floor footprint, creating a covered entrance and outdoor area for gallery events. Structural “V” columns support these floors that house diverse studios, classrooms and administration spaces. The north façade is fully glazed for photography, painting and drawing studios to benefit from diffused daylight, while the south and east sides offer vertical green walls with Virginia creeper to protect from direct sun and add privacy.
Bordering a busy outdoor space on the university campus, student artwork is vibrantly displayed throughout to spark internal discussion and attract visitors from the wider community. A visible expression of life at the School of Art, ARTlab lends to exploration, discovery and innovation from all perspectives.

Completion date: 2012

Size: 70,000 sq. ft.

Client: University of Manitoba

2016 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture
2015 Premier’s Award of Design Excellence
2014 Prairie Design Award of Excellence

(Drawing and Painting studio, Print Media Lab, Lecture Theatre, Classroom Space, flexible support spaces, Sound Stage, Entry Plaza, Administration offices, Art Gallery, Circulation Atrium, overhead bridges and underground connection to tunnel system)

Architecture and Interior Design: Architecture and Interior Design: LM Architectural Group and Environmental Space Planning

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“I believe we have one of the most beautiful and outstanding art schools in the country. It is an advantage to our program when we advertise who we are and what we can offer. The space is remarkable. I am sure it attracts the eye of candidates from all over the world.”
– Dominique Rey, Associate Professor, School of Art