The Old Market Square Stage in Winnipeg by 5468796 Architecture

The old Market Square Stage in the middle of the Exchange District in Winnipeg, Canada
The Old Market Square Stage is a new open-air performance space in the heart of the Exchange District in Winnipeg, Canada.
(Image credit: James Brittain)

Wallpaper* Architects Directory favourite 5468796 Architecture (opens in new tab) has put the finishing touches to its Old Market Square Stage, a new structure located in the heart of Winnipeg's Exchange District (opens in new tab) and designed to be an open air performance venue for the summer festival season.

Some four years in the making, the OMS Stage - or The Cube, as it is known - exemplifies the local firm's fascination with material and texture, searching out new ways of working with metals. The OMS provides a particular environmental problem - it'll only be in use during the summer months, leaving the prospect of a forlorn and empty structure marooned in the park during the cold, dark winters. To counter this inevitable annual abandonment, the architects have come up with a structure that's designed as a functional sculpture, glowing from within even when there's nothing scheduled on stage.

A perfect cube set at a slight angle to the road at the edge of the Square, the structure is formed from raw concrete enclosed by a wraparound aluminium screen, ingeniously formed from 20,000 hollow aluminium tubes, all of which have been cut and twisted to form a repeat pattern across a flexible façade. Mounted on aircraft cabling, the screen can be drawn back like a futuristic curtain, exposing the interior stage, shifting the pattern of light and changing the acoustic properties of the space. Inside, a projector system has been rigged up to add another layer of imagery to the outer surface.

Textured metal cube with a stage in a public garden

The Stage exemplifies 5468796 Architecture's fascination with material and texture, and the way the practice searches out new methods of working with metals

(Image credit: press)

Textured metal cube lit from within at dusk in a public garden

To counter the building's inevitable annual abandonment in winter - this being a summer venue only - the architects have come up with a structure that's designed as a functional sculpture, glowing from within even when there's nothing scheduled on stage

(Image credit: press)

A textured large metal cube on the edge of a public square

A perfect cube set at a slight angle to the road at the edge of the Square, the structure is formed from raw concrete enclosed by a wraparound aluminium screen

(Image credit: press)

Man walking in a structure with concrete wall and ceiling and metal screen wall

The screen is ingeniously formed from 20,000 hollow aluminium tubes, all of which have been cut and twisted to form a repeat pattern

(Image credit: press)

Metal cube with once side drawn back to reveal a stage with lights

Mounted on aircraft cabling, the screen can be drawn back like a futuristic curtain, exposing the interior stage, shifting the pattern of light and changing the acoustic properties of the space

(Image credit: press)

Image of Her Majesty The Queen projected on the side of a large metal cube in red light

Inside, a projector system has been rigged up to add another layer of imagery to the outer surface

(Image credit: press)

Man sitting on the floor next to metal screen walls casting shadows

The screen also provides dappled shade inside the structure...

(Image credit: press)

Concrete stairs next to concrete wall and metal screen

... and casts graphic patterns on the walls

(Image credit: press)

concrete stairway with metal screen wall

5468796 Architecture won the competition to design the stage thanks to the multi-functional nature of their design

(Image credit: press)

Large metal textured cube in a public square at nightime lit with bright coloured lights

The Old Market Square is a hub for festivals in summer months.

(Image credit: 5468796 Architecture)

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.