Technical Vocational High School (Tec Voc), Winnipeg School Division.

Address:1555 Wall Street
Original Use:Educational
Other Work:Additions including 1961, 1963 and 1966
Architects:W. A. Martin

More Information

Winnipeg's Technical-Vocational High School, known as Tec-Voc, is in all likelihood Manitoba's most magnificent school building. The clarity of the design, the streamlined shapes and decorative elements combine Art Deco and Art Modern in a vivacious visual feast.

Carved in stone on the entrance tower are the words that seem to drive the development of the school, "Knowledge without practice makes but half an artist."

Technical-Vocational High School was opened in 1951 by Lieutenant-Governor Hon. R. F. McWilliams. Its intention was to provide Manitoba students with the skills they needed of applied knowledge and academic study to meet the changing technologies of the post-war world. It offers a large range of courses of study from aerospace to electronics to culinary arts.

Design Characteristics

Suburb:Sargent Park
  • Its east-facing three-story facade sweeps wide across the site in twin classroom wings flanking a large centre tower block; here, the brick and limestone tower steps out from the wall, mixing red brick and limestone in a dynamic grid of details from a crenelated roofline to the glass block and multi-paned grids of windows and doors
  • Walls march in strongly horizontal layers of large windows alternating with brick walls in crisp precision, then wrap the corner; the north side provides another entrance in a drum round laden with the clever contrasting of materials and colours that turns historicism sideways
  • The west side of the school is the 'business end', industrial and complex, while the north and south ends continue the elements of the facade in a somewhat restrained manner
  • A separate arched field house that builds on the curves of the school mass was built on the southeast corner in 1962 and this leads back to the expansive playing fields on the south side