44 Princess Street, Winnipeg
The client's desire (empty nester's) to downsize and relocate from a 2,400 sq. ft. home in the suburbs to a live-work loft-style space in the exchange district of downtown Winnipeg was this project's genesis. There were many challenges in designing this 553 sq. ft. apartment to fit within an existing 5,000 sq. ft. commercial office floor. It was very important that the tenant be able to move seamlessly between the home and office while never leaving the floor, yet maintain a code-required separation between the two spaces.
The 6th floor of 44 Princess Street is a perfect example of our ability to design a home that is small yet so exceptionally open that the occupants feel as if they are in a much larger space. The design allowed the building’s architecture to manifest itself through the intentional exposure of bricks, heavy timber and mechanical systems giving it a distinctive warehouse feel. This approach also maximized the use of reclaimed materials while minimizing the need for new construction materials. This reduced the cost of construction considerably.A key challenge in the design process was to answer the client’s call for significant storage space without the loss of otherwise useable living-area. This challenge was met by leaving the ceilings open and designing storage spaces into the areas between the walls and ceilings wherever possible. In addition, extra-deep 48” tall cabinets were installed which provided a substantial increase in storage capacity. This approach ensured that storage areas did not occupy space that could otherwise be used for another purpose.
Planning and code hurdles were overcome by keeping the size of the space within code related limits which eliminated the need to upgrade systems throughout the entire building.The 6th floor of 44 Princess Street is an obvious example of our commitment to the adaptive re-use of the heritage treasures located in downtown areas. It introduces a unique and affordable lifestyle to those who choose to live and work within the same building.