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Sputnik Architecture is a small practice interested in developing a body of work that demonstrates a curiosity and exploration with, building materials; fabrication and manufacturing techniques; life, cultural, and social patterns; and the effects of light in shaping and animating architecture. Our projects are relatively small in scale and we enjoy testing our ideas through rapid prototyping and direct sourcing with our fabrication partners. Sputnik Architecture is located at Unit 9 - 107 Osborne Street in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada.
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The goal of this project is to relocate the offices of Travel Manitoba to a central location at the Forks National Historic Site in central Winnipeg. The plan involves consolidation, by combining the expertise of the Travel Manitoba staff with a world class visitor centre driven by technology and creative design solutions. The new facility offer staff a dynamic and modern work environment at the same time as celebrating all things Manitoba.
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Until recently Cameron Bay, very near Kenora Ontario, had been overlooked as a place for development. Sputnik was approached to take part in a visionary re-thinking of the site. The first phase of this vision involves the construction of a new marina serving the users of Lake of the Woods. The amenities included boat slips, a fuel dock, loading facilities, parking and the main marina building itself. The design reflects the industrial logging history of the site in its construction details and offers visitors an exciting new venue to enjoy Cameron Bay.
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Concrete is massive, masculine, stable, absorbing, and stoic. Polycarbonate panels are light, dynamic, reflective, ephemeral and feminine. Wood is warm and soothes. These materials wrap and protect all of life and beauty within this home. The building’s skin is perforated to allow fingers of sunlight through the volumes to a lovely collection of art.
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This 100 year old home was connected physically to the home located at 113 Cauchon St. A concrete tunnel had been constructed during the Thirties between the basements of these two homes. Legend suggests that the original builder of the homes lived in one and converted the other into a boarding house. In order to save his wife the trouble of walking outside between when the coal boiler needed stoking, they built a tunnel to connect the houses. Above the tunnel each home had a washroom that crossed the property line. In the modern era this arrangement was not allowed and these “easements” had to be demolished.

The main floor suite is now the home to Sputnik Architecture giving Peter Hargraves one of Winnipeg’s shortest and most delightful commutes. The second and third floors of the home have been converted into a 4 bedroom apartment.
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The home was studied for six years before permanent modifications were made. With children, pets and parents constantly entering and exiting the house, the decision was made to centralize the entrances along the side of the house. This gesture also utilizes otherwise wasted land between the tightly packed houses in Osborne Village. The entrance to the house because the anchor for all other spatial arrangements on the main floor. The use of natural light, with the expansion and contraction of volumes are the primary tools for achieving the esprit for this home. As design work evolved, the exercise became less about forcing a new aesthetic and more an exercise of archeological discovery. Opening up certain structures, or volumes led to new possibilities and delight, while carefully maintaining the themes that had developed in the home during its 100 year history. This project was also very carefully, and technically assimilated with the restoration and preservation of the home at 109 Cauchon St. Both homes were lifted several feet into the air, while the rubble foundations were removed and new foundations poured below. Both homes were then carefully lowered onto new basements.
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Built for the Assiniboine Community College Horticulture Production Program, the Passive Solar Greenhouse incorporates a number of strategies that minimize the energy input requirements for heating the facility. The header house is the highly insulated control centre for the facility. To the south side of the header house is the passive solar greenhouse which is divided into two zone, oriented in an east west direction. The first zone is climate controlled with the ability to add heat when necessary. The second zone has limited heat input options and mimics more closely a stand alone passive solar greenhouse that might operate in more northern climes. A conventional greenhouse located to the east of the header house is oriented in a north south direction. The passive heat inputs into the building system include an evacuated solar tube collector, a black wall radiator, a water filled black pipe solar collector, and thermal mass collector in the concrete floor. The conventional greenhouse uses only conventional means for cooling and heat distribution, however, heat is pulled to the conventional greenhouse from the heat storage tank located in the passive solar greenhouse.
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Inspired by the decrepit barns throughout our rural landscape, Carcass, is both a eulogy and a celebration. The warming hut is constructed of laminated wood rafters, and skinned in aluminium and polycarbonate panels. The form is intended to describe the tension between past, present and future; from time pre-historic to time held captive in the imagination. The ‘nested’ pieces by Jon Pylypchuk keep their beady, wild eyes, ever focused and watchful over the skaters.
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An iconic form that reminds visitors at once of granaries, houses, and fishing shacks. Small simple buildings that are ubiquitous, simple, and beautiful. The design intends to parlance in a manner that is both familiar and new- a shape we recognize, but a combination of materials and colours we do not. The clear delineation of fundamental elements creates an ideological ‘gap’ between the past and the future. We exist in that gap and in a very small way, this building shall celebrate this gap.

The building consists of three elements:
Skin- A plywood wrapped in waterproof membrane.
Frame- A steel frame providing rigid support for moving equipment.
Shell- Powder coated aluminium panels in red and white that celebrates the vitality of Canada’s multiculture.
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The Lakewood project involved renovating a portion of underused space in an existing school. Our proposal called for an improved pick-up and drop off area, easily accessible and sheltered outdoor play areas, a central kitchen, bathroom facilities and a staff area. The plan ultimately provided space for eight infants and twenty-four toddlers in accordance to the legislated Manitoba space requirements. Window placement and room layouts were based on sun paths, prevailing wind direction and clear sight lines to offer a pleasant and safe environment staff and young people.
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This project involved renovating 4000 sq. ft of recently vacated office space to accommodate new offices, meeting rooms, administration areas and circulation space all with access to natural light.
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Thin house is an exercise in efficient spatial planning. The goal is to create two buildings on two separate lots lot each measuring 17 feet by 50 feet. Each building will allow for two suites. One being a bachelor and the other having 3 bedrooms. We experimented with various layouts and ways the suites could interact with one another, considering shared spaces, sun path and material finishes describing interior programming.
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After having difficulty finding a decent bike basket, we decided do employ techniques we use every day to come up with one of our own. First we came up with a detachable, one-piece paper prototype designed to be cut by a laser. Our second attempt is a colourful polypropylene version, this one benefits from the toughness, flexibility and weather resistant characteristics of the material.
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Confronted with the issue of how to hide a number of cumbersome, unattractive features in the vestibule of the Franco Manitoban Culture Centre entry vestibule, we decided to use a game of “hide and seek” to play with the difficult mandate of hiding parts that might not be so nice to look at but remain critical to the function of the building.
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The building is conceived primarily as a shell that meanders amidst the dappled light of the tall pines. The structure bends and undulates amongst these old ‘citizens’ allowing for visitors to enjoy their scents and whispers. This symbolic gesture represents an attempt to use the building as a bridge between memories of the past and the countless opportunities and hope nested in the future of Edmonton’s vibrant population.

The building bridges the realms between the cultures of sport, art and recreation. The building demonstrates the principles of sustainability, encourages participation in sports ranging from ultimate Frisbee to speed skating, and provides a galleria for the display of public art. The building will weave itself into the fabric of Edmonton’s cultural landscape.

The existing speed skating oval generates the roots of the narrative for the building form and architectural syntax. Canadian speed skaters have made all Canadians proud with their feats of speed and power, establishing world records and winning Olympic medals along the way. The iconic image of the speed skater in full stride, muscles rippling, face grimacing with concentration and pain have inspired the architectural gesture of pulling the cladding over the supple arches. The sharp roof edges, and interplay of forms culminate in a gap between the two canopies that is adjacent to the finish line of the skating oval. The tension created at this gap symbolically represents the tension of the athletes reaching for the finish.

The building’s primary axis is east-west allowing for maximum solar gain. While no wind studies were available, it is assumed that cold winter winds will likely follow the course of the valley, or fall off the valley wall north of the site. The east west orientation mitigates building surface exposed to the wind. The north face of the building is low limiting exposure to the winds falling from the valley wall.

An efficient layout of space comprised of three primary “lungs” support three separate programmatic elements- a community lecture space, a change area for Nordic skiing and speed skating, and the Edmonton Speed Skating Club training facilities. The lecture hall, skate change area, and exercise room all have natural lighting on both north and south facing sides. The glazing to the north is significantly reduced relative to the quantity of glazing facing south. The lecture hall has views in three directions and is set immediately into the tall pines to create an oasis within the centre of Edmonton that could be used for many activities from music recitals to yoga workshops.

Between the building “lungs” are the functional cores of the building: the kitchen, washrooms, storage rooms, mechanical & electrical room, ski wax room, and Zamboni storage. The plan also indicates a potential location for showers if required by the speed skaters. This arrangement of spaces allows appropriate control for programmed spaces to ensure that more than one interest group can use the spaces when required.

The long canopy extends from the building to the ice surface. This spine serves as the primary gallery for public art. The wedge of forest nestled between the building and the canopy will serve as the trailhead for the running, walking and Nordic ski trails. This wooded area would also serve a sculpture garden. The view from the building ‘lungs’ through the slender tree trunk and structural elements toward the skaters, and skiers epitomizes the complete harmony of between building, human activity, landscape, and art.
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This residential project involved modifying an existing single story home with a basement, resulting in a two story building with a crawlspace. Having learned a great deal about lifting houses with the Cauchon projects, we endeavored to resolve a number of technical flaws with the original construction of the home by reinforcing the foundation system, filling in the basement with gravel, and building a new main floor at grade in order to provide the home occupant direct access to his home from the driveway. The occupant, who is mobile through the use of a wheelchair is now able to engage his yard with vistas from the second floor spaces rather than small basement windows.

Initially the design called for the names of all of the donor to be etched into the concrete wall that runs along the long entry threshold of the theatre. The quality of the concrete work and process of sandblasting the names into the concrete eliminated the possibility of executing this idea. In lieu of carving the names into the concrete for all of time eternity, the names have been “ghosted” in front of the concrete. The etched names cast a multitude of shadows on the wall. Donors interested in finding their names must search carefully as even the biggest donors are hidden amongst the smallest donors. Every dollar counts!


We wanted our shelf to be simple, sturdy, attractive and durable but also inexpensive and easy to install. We came up with a piece of bent powder coated steel that seems to fit the bill. Mounting holes are spaced out 16 inches to tie into existing studs (with some room for error). A small inverted lip at the front of the shelf provides additional structural support.


This project called for the renovation of an existing home to provide the client barrier free access. This included the addition of a wheelchair lift from the garage into the living space, a barrier free washroom, and new kitchen with a custom island and a deck with a wheelchair ramp.
 
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