Sputnik Architecture is a practice offering architectural and professional interior design services. We are 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.
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.
The initial project scope was laid out: a marina for boat owners. However, as
the schematic development began, it became obvious that a long term master plan for the area was needed, including development of the waterfront to include shoreline
stabilization, a boardwalk, restaurants and an outdoor leisure store that tourists and
cottagers could visit and utilize. While the initial marina project is complete, work has
now begun on an outdoor leisure centre dealership.
This new private office features a fully accessible mezzanine and main floor area that serve the staff of Travel Manitoba. A great deal of attention was given to quality of the work space on both levels by highlighting existing heavy timber structure and mirroring this with laminated structural wood decking for the mezzanine as well as wood veneer wall treatments throughout. Custom fabricated steel panels were used to create the guardrail and stairs, many of these powder coated panels include perforations that offer impressions of Manitoba.
The Visitor Information Center is dynamic and open. The space is filled with iconic imagery of Manitoba and cutting edge technology that informs guests. Monolithic steel and aluminum rotating panels act as billboards and hubs for accessing digital technology. They invite visitors to explore during the day and close to secure it after hours. Select Manitoba wood species are combined at the reception desk canopy to create a warm and welcoming focal point. The technology in addition to the inclusion of new glazing units allows the Information Center to remain vibrant in the evening, acting as a beacon and remaining interactive 24 hours a day.
Sputnik Architecture was given the task of understanding the particular philosophy
toward Early Learning held by the faculty at Assiniboine Community College, and marry
these ideas to the willingness of the design builder to construct their desires. The
combination of wishes and restrictions is not particular to just this project, but in this
context, we were very committed also to ensuring that the little people who would
occupy this building would benefit from the way that the spaces, materials, function,
natural light, heating source, were put together.
We spoke to everyone we could, from the janitors to the child care workers to make sure we completely understood how to create the very best day care possible. At the same time, the builder was proposing building types. We began to assimilate what we were learning from the daycare with the proposed structural and mechanical systems.
In the end this assimilation resulted in a space that is easy to work in, easy to play in,
easy to maintain, and constructed in a tight budget.
The Waterloo Residence is a much loved single family home that suffered from serious foundation problems, a well known reality for many residents of the River Heights neighbourhood in Winnipeg, The project involved the complete removal of the existing foundation, basements and 1970s era back portion of the house. These problematic elements were replaced with 27 concrete piles, 8' ICF basement walls and a new modern addition at the back. Other upgrades included all new windows, new kitchen, new bathrooms, all new mechanical systems, upgraded of knob and tube wiring and complete restoration work to the original 1920s portion of the house.
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.
Looking to relocate their current clinic, the Western Medical Clinic (WMC) engaged Sputnik Architecture to provide a feasibility study on their existing and future spatial requirements. Upon the completion of the study, the WMC and Sputnik began planning the clinic as a tenant fit-up in a newly constructed professional medical building.
To ensure that the client’s current needs and future growth were accounted for, a functional space program was developed through extensive information gathering sessions with the stakeholders. Working closely with the clinic’s design committee, a plan was approved and the development of the specific millwork and construction drawing package for tender was created. Sputnik Architecture oversaw the tendering for both construction and the furniture package.
Our client is an expert gardener and keeper of a lovely backyard that deserved an improved area to work and store tools. The result is a light filled column that has become a new focal point in the environment. Extra potting space was also integrated into an existing car port in the form of a long stainless steel work surface, allowing the new shed to remain uncluttered and bright.
Le Cercle Molière Terrace Screen encloses a unique outdoor patio and doubles as signage for the St. Boniface theatre group. 30 laser cut panels are bolted to one another and the existing concrete pad. The circle cutouts can be read from both directions of traffic and create dynamic shadows and reflections on the surrounding surfaces
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The founder of Sputnik Architecture has teamed up with artists before for ice exhibits, and three years ago helped create Winnipeg's annual Warming Huts event at the city's waterfront known as the Forks where the Assiniboine and Red rivers meet.
His wind break on Lake Nipissing is angled to look like a stick coming out of the ice to anyone approaching from the shore, only to find as they walk closer that it has a coffee bar and a bench for comfort.
"It's not supposed to be the piece you look at. It's supposed to be the piece you lean against to look at the other pieces," Hargraves says.
The space between the slats look like individual panoramas of the horizon and distant ice huts. The only thing missing is a skating trail or rink.
"That's the Winnipegger in me," he says.
Calabrese, Maria. "ICE FOLLIES: Architects Keep Their Sticks on the Ice." North Bay Nugget. 20 Feb. 2012, Local sec. Online.
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.
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.
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.
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.