I recently wrote a story for the Globe about the Winnipeg architects 5468796 and their Governor General’s Award-winning project, the low-rise condo development Bloc_10. It’s handsome, aesthetically brave – and even more inventive in its form. In fact you can’t really understand it without seeing a Lego-style model (after the jump..)
The building’s 10 multi-level units fit together, as 546′s Ken Borton put it, like “a Chinese puzzle”:
As I wrote in the Globe,
The 10 units are all different in size, shape and configuration, which produces some amazing statistics. Each unit has at at least two levels; each has windows on the north and south sides, and eight boast an east or west exposure as well. Eight of them touch a corner of the building. The layouts are extremely unusual. For instance, one two-bedroom suite starts with a north-facing kitchen, steps up to a second-floor living room on the south side of the building, and then third-floor bedrooms on the north side – and it’s got outdoor decks to the north and south.
The trick is a central spine of nested staircases, running east-west through the building, that link the different levels of each apartment. It’s a difficult design to understand at a glance, but it does use standard building materials and techniques – yet these homes all have qualities of light and space that are extraordinary in an apartment.
Meanwhile, here are a few more images of the project, all by James Brittain: