Monteyne Architecture Works Inc. was commissioned to produce a concept for a new major public building to be located at 'The Forks' site in Winnipeg. So named because it is the location of the meeting of the Assiniboine River with the Red River, the Forks has become the city’s most popular meeting place. Combining a working hydroponic greenhouse with a public all season public garden, the envisioned building will be unique in Canada. In addition to growing things, the building will also house additional commercial space, and a public room that can be programmed for various activities such as wedding receptions.
The Public Winter Garden is to be located along the restored axis of Provencher and Broadway Avenues. Conceived of as the centerpiece of an elaborate landscaped pedestrian environment, the pedestrian axis is maintained through the building by an elevated walkway. The concept exploits the potential of passive solar radiation and passive ventilation, in addition to being partially earth-sheltered. The schematic cross-section reveals segregation between functioning hydroponic terrace gardens arranged on the south-facing slope maximizing solar exposure, and the public space on the ground floor. The ultimate goal of the project is to embody sustainable design principles in a significant public context.