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Azure's July/August 2019 Issue cover

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The superterrestrial design of this 40-unit residential development made it an instant Winnipeg landmark that locals have dubbed “the Spaceship.” The hometown architects elevated 62M’s doughnut-shaped three-storey structure on 20 slender concrete columns, creating the illusion that it is hovering over its one- and two-storey neighbours. A concrete core provides additional stability and contains the elevator access to the residences nearly 11 metres above. The architects were able to accomplish this daring multi-unit design at market prices by relying on cost-effective prefabrication techniques and craning the elements into place, by making modular trapezoidal units and finishing them in just two model types, and by using a limited palette and leaving materials (such as the facade’s Corten steel cladding) in their raw states.

Project 62M Location Winnipeg, Canada Firm 5468796 Architecture, Canada Team Sasa Radulovic and Ken Borton with Emeil Alvarez, Apollo Au, Pablo Batista, Brandon Bergem, Jordy Craddock, Donna Evans, Ben Greenwood, Johanna Hurme, Andriy Ivanytskyy, Jeff Kachkan, Stas Klaz, Lindsey Koepke, Kelsey McMahon, Colin Neufeld, Royce O’Toole, Hugh Taylor, Matthew Trendota, Alan Vamos, Shannon Wiebe and Jenn Yablonowski Photo James Brittain

Lirio 7

José Alfonso Quiñones’s artful restoration of an abandoned art deco building in central Mexico City transformed a former public bathhouse into a smart 12-unit walk-up built around a central courtyard. While the architect preserved many of the building’s original details, such as the Moorish-patterned azulejo floors, he also added a contemporary layer. Most notably, Quiñones built expansive glazing along the railings of the central courtyard. By enclosing these former outdoor circulation spaces along the perimeter, he maximized the interior square footage for the inward-facing apartments. While this does bring courtyard neighbours more nose-to-nose, his strategic use of mirrored windowpanes in various places at different angles helps restore some privacy by interrupting the most direct sightlines between public and private spaces.

Project Lirio 7 Location Mexico City, Mexico Firm BAAQ, Mexico Team José Alfonso Quiñones with Inca Hernández, Fermín Espinosa, Ana García, Bibiana Davo and Factor Eficiencia Photo Luis Gallardo/LGM Studio 

1245 Harwood

For this West End condo project, Vancouver-based Revery Architecture (formerly Bing Thom Architects) designed a slender yet curvaceous tower boasting a 17-storey glass curtain wall. Completed in 2018, the building has a fluid shape with curved ends and wraparound cantilevered balconies. Layered skins help combat any excessive direct sunlight.

The structure’s outermost covering is a distinctive system of fixed and operable screens made of marine-grade stainless steel with pointillist leaf-patterned perforations. The exterior panels supplement the windows’ automated drapery. The interiors, meanwhile, comprise 200-square-metre full-floor residences, with elevator doors that open into marble foyers, three-metre floor-to-ceiling windows in all the main rooms, and custom-designed Bulthaup kitchens.

Project 1245 Harwood Location Vancouver, Canada Firm Revery Architecture, Canada Team Bing Thom and Venelin Kokalov with Shinobu Homma, Dan Du, Kyle Chan, Alex Buss, Ling Meng, Elaine Tong and Daniel Gasser Photo Ema Peter

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