Manitoba Hydro Place

This photo shows the exterior view from the northwest corner at street level.


  • Location: Winnipeg, MB
  • Building type(s): Commercial office, Community, Assembly
  • 698,000 ft2 (64,800 m2)
  • Project scope: a single building
  • Urban setting
  • Completed September 2009

Manitoba Hydro, the primary energy utility in the province of Manitoba, set ambitious goals for its new headquarters, including energy efficiency, urban revitalization, and a supportive workplace. The 700,000 square foot, 22-story office tower occupies a full block in the center of Winnipeg, a city that is well known for its extreme climate and a downtown in recovery from severe economic downturn in the late 20th century.

The site was selected for its proximity to the city's transit system and a network of raised walkways that connects buildings in the downtown core. The form and massing directly respond to the climate, while the architecture works to revive the city's former 'Chicago-scale' urban spirit. The relocation of 2,000 employees from 15 suburban offices to the downtown also signifies the corporation's shift to a collaborative culture and a commitment to provide the community with a signature architectural image.

The design also visibly manifests Manitoba Hydro's commitment to environmentally responsible practices, achieving an unprecedented 64.9% energy savings by harnessing maximum passive solar, wind, and geothermal energy. To achieve the seamless integration of design and performance goals, Manitoba Hydro committed to following a formal integrated design process (IDP).

Environmental Aspects

Manitoba Hydro Place introduces the next generation of sustainable, energy-efficient architecture developed under a formal Integrated Design Process. The design fuses time-tested principles such as massing, orientation, and exposed thermal mass with immediate digital analysis and computerized building management systems to create a climate-responsive design that relies on passive energy while delivering design excellence and, most importantly, fostering the wellbeing of employees.

Every part of the building relates to the whole. The signature capital 'A' comprises twin 18-story office towers set on a 3-story, street-scaled podium. The podium, bisected by the Public Galleria and clad in masonry to connect to the city's historic fabric, creates a sheltered route through the full city block. The towers converge at the building's north end to minimize north-facing surface area. To maximize solar and wind exposure, the towers splay open to the south, where they are clad in low-iron glazing to minimize the mass of the building in the urban context. The solar chimney is both essential to the passive ventilation strategy and for presenting the building as a new urban icon. The south-facing winter gardens feature 24-meter-tall waterfalls that humidify or dehumidify (depending on the season) incoming air and animate the space as kinetic sculpture.

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned by Manitoba Hydro
  • Typically occupied by 2,150 people, 45 hours per person per week


Integrated team, Design charrette, Commissioning, Performance measurement and verification, Operations and maintenance, Brownfield redevelopment, Water harvesting, Efficient fixtures and appliances, Efficient irrigation, Massing and orientation, Glazing, Passive solar, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, Efficient lighting, Adaptable design, Salvaged materials, Recycled materials, Local materials, Daylighting, Natural ventilation, Ventilation effectiveness, Low-emitting materials

Photo credit: Eduard Hueber

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Last updated: 4/19/2010

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