Innovation Centre Red River College Exchange District Campus, Winnipeg Building Images

Innovation Centre at Red River College Campus

Repurposed downtown heritage building in Manitoba design by Diamond Schmitt Architects, Canada

21 Jul 2018

Innovation Centre at Red River College Exchange District Campus Winnipeg

Design: Diamond Schmitt Architects with Number TEN Architectural Group

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Innovation Centre at Red River College Exchange District Campus in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – Construction has commenced on a $95-million Innovation Centre at the Red River College Exchange District campus in Winnipeg. This transformative project positions architectural innovation to inspire and support a culture of advanced learning and knowledge transfer.

Innovation Centre at Red River College Exchange District Campus in Winnipeg

The 100,000-sqft development designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects in joint venture with Number TEN Architectural Group incorporates a repurposed downtown heritage building and new construction to create a dynamic crossroads with state-of-the-art facilities for applied research, entrepreneurship and commercialization.

“The Innovation Centre is deeply informed by its context with connection to the street and a layering of space and natural light through an orchestrated sequence of spaces large and small,” said Michael Leckman, Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects.

Innovation Centre at Red River College Exchange District Campus in Winnipeg

A hallmark of the Innovation Centre will be the collaboration with industry and the emerging startup sector of Winnipeg’s Innovation Alley. The building’s design features distinct and thematic zones that underscore this engagement.

“The Agora, inspired by its Greek precedent, forms the heart of the facility – an open space for orchestrated ‘collisions’ between students and faculty, industry partners and the college as a whole,” added Sydney Browne, Principal, Diamond Schmitt. “An atrium above this zone brings daylight into the core and transforms a helical stair from mere circulation to become a focal point.”

Innovation Centre at Red River College Exchange District Campus in Winnipeg

Innovation Zones including the Sandbox for pitch sessions and advanced computer education space overlook and experience the Agora. These highly transparent program areas emphasize the everyday experience of students, faculty and staff. The threshold between the new and existing structures is bathed in natural light to reveal the subtle excellence of the century-old Scott Fruit Building.

The Roundhouse anchors the west corner of the new building and is the symbolic centre, imbued with Indigenous meaning and European history. At roof level, the City Room will be a beacon enveloped in bold traditional art that is steeped in local culture and visible both on the ceiling of this fully glazed space and across the cladding and soffit.

Innovation Centre at Red River College Exchange District Campus in Winnipeg

Targeting net-zero energy consumption, the skin of the new high-performance building consists of photovoltaic glass panels that create energy and also change colour depending on the angle of view and weather conditions.

“Red River College is a forward-thinking institution that recognizes the important role that innovation and industry partnerships play in creating the best opportunities for today’s workforce and this facility embodies these noble ambitions,” said Number TEN Partner Doug Hanna.

Innovation Centre at Red River College Exchange District Campus in Winnipeg

“When we first proposed this campus expansion in the Exchange District, we wanted to create a space that embraced a new way of teaching and learning. A space that would bring together students with education and industry professionals, and a space that would embrace social innovation and enterprise, and allow us to continue to focus on groundbreaking innovative research,” said Paul Vogt, President & CEO, Red River College. “Number TEN and Diamond Schmitt embraced this vision and have turned it into reality. We’re very proud of this project and can’t wait to share it with the community.”

This fast-track project is slated for completion in 2020.

Innovation Centre at Red River College Exchange District Campus in Winnipeg

Diamond Schmitt Architects ( has offices in Toronto, Vancouver and New York City. The firm’s extensive portfolio includes commercial, institutional and residential buildings, performing arts centres, and healthcare facilities. Among current projects are the new home for the Senate of Canada in Ottawa; a new campus for York University in Markham, Ontario, and the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts & Sciences in Texas.

Number TEN Architectural Group ( is an integrated practice of architecture and interior design with offices in Winnipeg and Victoria. Throughout the firm’s 63-year history, an extensive portfolio of innovative and award-winning projects has been delivered throughout Western Canada, the northern Canadian territories and Minnesota.

Current projects include the Red River College Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, Richardson Innovation Centre, National Research Council Advanced Manufacturing Program (with Diamond Schmitt Architects), and TDS Law New Office Premises.

Innovation Centre at Red River College Exchange District Campus in Winnipeg images / information from Diamond Schmitt Architects

Diamond Schmitt Architects

Address: P214 – 160 Princess Street, Winnipeg, MB R3B 1K9, Canada
Phone: +1 204-949-8371

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Website: Exchange District Campus Red River College