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The Globe and Mail

Views of the award-winning Bloc_10 low rise condo

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The three-storey Winnipeg condo called Bloc_10 designed by 5468796 Architecture won one of the most prestigious prizes in Canadian design, a Governor-General’s Medal for Architecture, for its smart and unexpected twist on a familiar form: the walkup apartment building.

James Brittain/James Brittain

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The 10 units in Bloc_10 are all different in size, shape and configuration.

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Ken Borton and Colin Neufeld describe the project as blending matter-of-fact construction and intellectual ambition. ‘We said, let’s take a box and make something interesting on the inside,’ says Mr. Borton.

James Brittain/James Brittain

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From the outside Bloc_10 appears as an irregular stack of boxes – a sophisticated sculpture in glass, black-stained wood and creamy cement-board panels, the hunks of structure caroming their way from roof to ground.

James Brittain/James Brittain

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‘Architects that want to push the edge a little usually start with theoretical work and publications – but we’ve been doing it in the built world,’ says Mr. Neufeld.

James Brittain/James Brittain

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Each unit has at at least two levels; each has windows on the north and south sides, and eight boast an east or west exposure as well. Eight of them touch a corner of the building.

James Brittain/James Brittain

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A typical two-bedroom suite starts with a north-facing kitchen, steps up to a second-floor living room on the south side of the building, and then third-floor bedrooms on the north side – and it's got outdoor decks facing north.

5468796 Architecture/5468796 Architecture

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At Bloc_10, corridors and walk-up entrances are on the outside, eliminating the need for a lobby or interior hallways, and lowering unit prices by lowering construction costs.

Lisa Stinner/Lisa Stinner

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Breakaway diagram of Bloc House showing the independent units that comprise the building.

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