OMS Stage Winnipeg images, Manitoba building architect, Canada architecture design installation photos

OMS Stage, Winnipeg : The Cube

The Cube, Manitoba, Canada design by 5468796 Architecture Inc

post updated 10 January 2024

Date built: 2011

Design: 5468796 Architecture Inc

Location: Manitoba, Canada

OMS Stage

OMS Stage Winnipeg: The Cube Manitoba
images from architect studio

Photos by 5468796 Architecture Inc.

17 Aug 2011

OMS Stage Winnipeg

“The Cube” is an open-air performance venue set against the backdrop of historic warehouses in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. The design, commissioned following an invited competition, recognizes that the stage only functions as such for a very limited time, and questions what opportunities the venue can provide during the rest of the year. In its final rendition, the stage is articulated as a multi-functional environment that shifts from a vibrant performance space to an ephemeral, interactive pavilion and focal point.

OMS Stage Winnipeg: The Cube Manitoba

The outer shell of the 28’ x 28’ cube is a dynamic membrane composed of diamond extrusions strung together to form a flexible curtain that draws back to reveal stage and structure within. The retracted skin in turn becomes a draped and undulating ceiling landscape providing a backdrop for performance and allowing adjustments to the stage’s acoustics. When closed, 18,000 angled metal pieces capture and refract light or images to their outer surface, creating a unique pixel matrix. Programmable lighting shines onto the pixelated skin, offering a canvas for interactive displays that are seasonally programmed and available for active engagement by local artists. The stage in its closed position also accommodates small gatherings and exhibitions inside, both on the main floor and on an upper level performance space complete with bleacher-style seating.

OMS Stage Winnipeg: The Cube Manitoba

An important objective for the project was to provide a secure screen which could be opened and shut for various programming. The challenge was to create a unique meshwork that would be soft enough to drape open and rigid enough to provide a solid barrier. Early prototypes used chain-mail as a precedent for a flexible protective membrane that could form the venue’s envelope.

OMS Stage Winnipeg: The Cube Manitoba

A second key goal was to explore the capacity for the membrane to capture images projected upon its surface. Technical constraints were imposed by the distance from the screen to the back wall of the stage (where the projector would be housed), and the fact that images would hit the back screen face, but would be observed when looking towards the stage. Through prototypes we examined the size and number of elements necessary to effectively capture the projected images, as well as the appropriate depth of cells and their ability to maintain image integrity.

OMS Stage OMS Stage Winnipeg The Cube The Cube Winnipeg
images from architect

In its final installation, the individual extrusions are strung together through pre-cut holes using aircraft cable to hold cells in place. The orientation of each piece alternates up and down vertically along the line of the cable, with adjacent rows of cells riveted together at every third piece. The membrane is thereby able to cascade gently, while maintaining continuous surface integrity. Pre-strung panels of screen were erected on site before being riveted together to form a continuous assembly.

By questioning the year-round relevance of the stage program, the team was motivated to develop a constituent part of the program (security, screen and canopy) into a new project feature. The skin thereby transcends its function as shell and takes on the new role of emblem.

OMS Stage – Building Information

Architect: 5468796 Architecture Inc.
Client: Exchange District BIZ
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Project Area: 784 sqft (28’ x 28’)
Project Year: 2010
Budget: $1M


Project Manager: Greenseed Development Corp.
Structural Engineer: Lavergne Draward & Associates
Electrical Engineer: Williams Engineering Canada Inc.
Lighting Design: Ambiances Lighting + Visual Design
Metal Fabricator: Central Prairie Products

Photographs: 5468796 Architecture Inc.

OMS Stage information from 5468796 Architecture Inc

OMS Stage images from FD

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, North America

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Comments / photos for the OMS StageThe Cube Winnipeg page welcome