manitoba hydro place
It's sometimes nice to do touristy things in your own city. One time, I visited the Royal Canadian Mint with my friend Mel - for some reason, people made found that very nerdy...

Manitoba Hydro Place has been around for  a few years now and I've been itching to see inside it. So Mike & I signed up for a guided tour recently, cameras in hand.

The tour ended up being even more interesting than I predicted. And the building - well, even more gorgeous than we expected. Just look at it.

Here are some additional facts about the building for those who are as nerdy as I am:

1. The buildings that were taken down to make room for Manitoba Hydro Place were carefully deconstructed, allowing 95 per cent of the materials from these old structures to be reused, recycled or salvaged.

2. The building is one of the most energy-efficient buildings of its size in North America. It is 66% more energy efficient than the model national energy code for buildings (and this is in a city in which temperatures flucuate from -35 degrees Celsius (-31 degrees Fahrenheit) to +34 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit)).

3. The Toronto and Winnipeg architectural firms that designed the building won the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat's 2009 Best Tall Building Americas award.

4. The building has a 100% fresh air ventilation system. It was honestly amazing. I have never breathed in such clean, crisp air inside a building before.

100% of cooling load and 50% of heating load is covered by geothermal heat pump system.
(There is a lot more information about the geothermal heating system and the fresh air ventilation system here. I must admit, I don't quite understand it all.)

6. Studies have shown that people are most productive when they are able to see nature outside (trees, flowers, etc). From any spot on the building, you can see most kind of greenery outside (thanks to rooftop gardens).

7. The solar chimney, as designed initially by the architect, was going to cast a lot of shade on a little downtown park across the street where people eat their lunches in the summer time. The architect was already disappointed about the amount of green space downtown, and he did not want to take away this little park from downtown workers. So he intentionally designed the solar chimney in just a way that it will never cast a shadow on the park (incredible!).

It is reassuring and inspiring to know that there are people committed to constructing buildings that m
aximize employee productivity and minimize energy consumption There are just so many facets of this building that are complete genius. I'm proud for it to be in the middle of my little city!

*most information taken from Manitoba Hydro Place's website.
*most photos taken & edited by Mike


  1. wow...this is fascinating and beautiful. I LOVE the idea of having a fresh air ventilation system. My neighbors at work smoke....so fresh air is something I long for in the work place. I also love it that you are exploring where you live. I need to do that more often.

  2. I love you Janis... but... You have too much time on your hands!! haha when i come visit your taking me interesting places too :) xxxx

  3. I love all the photos, even if Mike took them.. ; ) It looks like an amazing building. It makes me happy to know that there are builders/architects/companies, willing to invest time and money into coming up with innovative buildings that work for both the people inside them and also the environment!

    I also love playing tourist in my own city, I think we all take our own cities so for granted, speaking of which, I need to go and check out our galleries!

    Happy Weekend!

  4. i love that! clean lines are my favorite.

  5. Each shot just gets more beautiful!

  6. i love all the lines and textures of this building - beautiful!

  7. yeeay for our little town! good for you going on a guided tour! happy weekend! (can you believe there is supposed to be a blizard tonight? it is like summer out right now. nutso.)

    xx oo

  8. Who knew the hydro building could look so beautiful? (before last photograph is my favorite)

  9. The shapes and lines and textures here are amazing!! I love how you took something that is usually seen as boring (a tour) and made the photos so interesting, loved this!

  10. Do you take all of these photos? I'm just lost in them they are so pretty.

  11. these photos are all so crisp & clean. such a wonderful lil series

  12. amazing! i wish more new constructions were as eco-conscious and beneficial to its employees and neighbours.

    these photos are wonderful.

  13. Loving such pictures, great architectual shots!!
    Have a lovely start in the week and I hope you feel better by now!
    xox Kristina

  14. These are great photos! Bruce Kuwabara and KPMB does incredible work!! I'm so glad to see a building can perform to efficiently in our cold climate! I'd like to see more sustainable buildings built up north.

  15. gorgeous photos!!! I have never seen the inside before

  16. @Erin: Mike took most of the photos, but I took a few!

  17. Great architectural shots.. especially loving all the lines and shapes from the water dripping wall

  18. Gorgeous yes, the building and your photography too! Love the droplets of water, so lovely.


thanks so much for writing! i love hearing from you!