Old Market Square Stage
by 5468796 Architecture

| 6 comments
 

Twenty-thousand pieces of aluminium form a chain-mail blanket over this concrete performance venue in Winnipeg by Canadian firm 5468796 Architecture.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

The Old Market Square Stage, also known as The Cube, was designed by 5468796 Architecture as the centrepiece of a recently remodelled public square by landscape architects Scatliff+Miller+Murray.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

The chain-mail hangs like a curtain over the facade of the structure. During performances it can be hauled up out of the way to reveal a stage, while at other times it functions as a protective screen, shielding the interior.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

"[It] throws out the old bandshell concept on the grounds that when a conventional stage is not in use it would look forlorn," say the architects, explaining their concept for a structure that can "hibernate" during the city's long winters.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

Lighting fixtures and a projector have both been installed inside The Cube, allowing colours, images and movies to be projected over the metal surfaces.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

A lawn in front of the structure doubles-up as a spectator area during performances, while a line of curving benches provide seating around the edges of the square.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

Winnipeg-based 5468796 Architecture also recently completed another building in the city: an apartment block with mirrored balconies. See more architecture in Canada.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

Another building we've featured with a chain-mail exterior is the Kukje art gallery in Seoul designed by SO-IL.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

Read on more more information from 5468796 Architecture:


OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture

"The Old Market Square Stage" (otherwise known as "The Cube"), OMS Stage for short, is an open-air performance venue situated in Old Market Square, an iconic green space and summer festival hub in Winnipeg's historic Exchange District. In 2009, 5468796 Architecture won an invited competition with a multi-functional design that throws out the old bandshell concept on the grounds that when a conventional stage is not in use it would look forlorn - especially through the city's long winters.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

A concrete cube enclosed by a flexible metal membrane, The Cube functions as a multipurpose environment. The membrane is composed of 20,000 identical hollow aluminium pieces strung together on aircraft cables.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

The orientation of the pieces alternates, forming a flexible and shimmering curtain - a contemporary take on medieval chain mail, that can stand like a wall, be pulled in to reveal the performance space, or function as a light-refracting surface - allowing it to morph into a projection screen, performance venue, shelter or sculptural object. The curtain's flexibility also allows for acoustical fine tuning.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Photograph by James Brittain

Internal lighting refracts through the mesh so that the The Cube softly glows on the outside. An internal projector also enables images to be projected on the front curtain. The membrane's diamond extrusions capture and refract light and images to their outer surface, creating a unique pixel matrix for artists to appropriate at will.

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture

Architect: 5468796 Architecture Inc.
Client: Winnipeg Exchange District BIZ

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Project Area: 784 sqft (28’ x 28’)

OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Concept diagram - click for larger image
OMS Stage by 5468796 Architecture
Facade concept diagram - click for larger image
  • alex

    Another goodie by 54687858956576986548 architects. Keep them coming!

  • http://twitter.com/archiseek @archiseek

    Pity you’re publishing old photos. It’s not wearing well, now being a dull grey colour, the opening doesn’t work effectively and it’s widely disliked by performers and the people of the city. It is certainly not “shimmering”.

  • matrix

    The aluminum curtain must be kept open for stage setup, which is contrary to most stage function criteria.

  • roblesagrace

    It looks great lit up during the evenings, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the top balcony in use and have heard a lot of complaints about opening the curtain.

    Also, it doesn’t quite seem to be finished yet: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/cubes-trou

  • http://twitter.com/archiseek @archiseek

    Several years after completion:

    City withholding payment over The Cube flaws http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/City-withh

  • boooo

    Diagram architecture can rarely deal with the complexities of real life. However, I had the chance to hang out with these guys in Winnipeg. Great people, good firm, awesome city.