In terms of physical size, the Executive House was a small addition to Winnipeg’s stock of residential buildings, especially compared to the high-rise apartment towers that were being developed across Winnipeg’s downtown at the time. Executive House has only twelve identical two-bedroom suites, but is an excellent example of modernist architecture in the late 1950s. The Canadian Architect, in December 1964, called the building an “elegant contribution” to Winnipeg. The surrounding gardens, also visible from each unit through generous glazing on both the east and west elevations, retain the character and integrity of their original 1960 design.
The building is compact and angled on its side. Large windows on both the east and west sides of the building allow residents to look out over the surrounding neighbourhood and the gardens that lie below. The superstructure is constructed of site-cast reinforced concrete with a steel joist floor system. The exterior clearly reflects the superstructure beneath, through its Tyndall limestone cladding and exposed structural concrete. Interior divisions are of concrete block, with cast-on-site concrete floors.
Each unit is 950 square feet, divided into five rooms, with a small private balcony. At the time of construction, each suite included a masonry fireplace and decorative wood panelling and plaster. The apartment building was converted to condominiums in the 1990s. "This small building proves that a 12-suite apartment on a small site can be an elegant contribution to downtown living and to the city's appearance." (Canadian Architect, December 1964)
Unlike other apartments at the time, the first floor of Executive House is not residential suites—it is parking space for the building’s residents. Executive House is, in fact, one of Winnipeg’s earliest examples of elevating a building with parking at ground level.
In 1961, Libling, Michener, and Associates received the Silver Medal in the Massey Awards for Architecture for its work on Executive House.
Recognition and Awards
- Silver Medal, Massey Awards for Architecture 1961
- 12 Identical units in two storeys over a raised basement
- Parking on grade located beneath structure
- Originally designed as an apartment building, the units became condominiums in the 1990s.
- The design is spare, with the structural frame clearly evident on the building's exterior.
- Executive house is an early Winnipeg example of siting parking on grade, below the building.
- Canadian Architect 6 11 (November 1961): 6.
- Canadian Architect 9 12 (December 1964): 88.
- Canadian Architect 15 5 (May 1970): 47-8.
- Canadian Builder 15 12 (December 1961): 38-39, 47.
- Canadian Builder 13 2 (February 1963): 17.
- Canadian Builder 18 6 (June 1968): 49-51.
- Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Journal 38 11 (November 1961): 56.
- "Apartments Curb Move to Suburbs." Winnipeg Tribune. 9 December 1961.
- Serena Keshavjee, ed. Winnipeg Modern Architecture 1945 -1975, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2007. 42-3.
- Susan Algie and James Wagner. Osborne Village: An Architectural Tour. Winnipeg Architecture Foundation, 2022
Links & Related Buildings
- Grovesnor House, located just to the east of Executive House was also constructed by Libling Michener and Associates the following year, in 1962.