Winnipeg’s Red River College has awarded a $95-million Innovation Centre project to Diamond Schmitt Architects in joint venture with Number TEN Architectural Group. The 100,000-square-foot facility will include new construction and a repurposed downtown heritage building to create state-of-the-art facilities in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.
Diamond Schmitt and Number TEN were selected for their combined team experience designing flexible, collaborative educational space that can easily be adapted to suit evolving learning methods.
“We are excited to work with Red River College to design a facility that prepares students for their careers and enables both the college and the business community to work together,” said Sydney Brown, principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects, in a press release.
In an effort to help students bring their projects to marketplace development, the Innovation Centre will feature a pitch session room and open teaching areas that Red River College calls “collision” spaces that accommodate students working together alongside industry and social service partners.
The federal government contributed $40.6 million in funding towards the project through its post-secondary institutions strategic investment fund (SIF), which requires a fast-track construction timeline. The project is currently in the design stage, with the expectation that construction will begin within 12 months, according to Red River College president Paul Vogt. Red River College plans to implement a major fundraising campaign to raise an additional $54.8 million to support the project’s development.
The new facility will be located at Red River College’s Exchange District campus and will include the century-old Scott Fruit Building. Another existing structure will be demolished to make way for the project and building site preparations are currently underway.
“Red River College is a forward-thinking institution that recognizes the important role that innovation and industry partnerships play in creating the best opportunities for today’s workforce,” added Doug Hanna, a partner at Number TEN that led the design for Red River College’s new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, which is currently under construction. “Our team combines Diamond Schmitt’s industry-leading experience in the design of similar facilities across Canada with Number TEN’s reputation for design excellence in the Winnipeg market.”