The Red River bends gently along Victoria Crescent in St. Vital,
a well-established neighbourhood in south Winnipeg. The site encompasses
two former river lots in one 100 foot x 400 foot heavily treed
parcel with a deep front yard and a steep drop to the flood-prone
river edge. The original residence on the site was built during
the1920s, but its form had been long lost under layers of modifications,
additions and tacked on porches and decks.
The essence of the old house, not its actual presence, becomes the centre of the new residence, as the original foundation is preserved as a sunken courtyard. The new 3000 square foot residence will be built around the old foundation, acknowledging what used to be. It turns the former spatial arrangement inside out: house to courtyard, yard to house, solid to void, void to solid. This shift allows the ghost of the old house to remain.
The courtyard expands the visual space beyond the enclosed rooms and creates a nexus around which all circulation spirals in three dimensions. A bridge links the carport to the main entry across the courtyard below - an entrance sequence that blurs the boundary between the exterior and the interior. A hidden panoramic view of the river beyond is revealed upon entering the vaulted hall, further connecting the landscape to the interior. Living space flows from the main level into a two storey family room below grade and to the courtyard beyond.
The bedrooms are organized in two distinct wings separated by the courtyard and the lap pool. The juxtaposition of the two bedroom wings allows visual connection from one to the other across the courtyard as a counterpoint to their physical separation. Nestled between the second level and the vaulted entrance, an exterior roof deck opens to both the courtyard and the riverside while remaining protected by the surrounding elements.
with 5468796 architecture