Project name: Stanley Pauley Engineering Building
Address: University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Design: Stantec Architecture
Building area: 4275 sq. m
Number of floors: G + 2 floors, one basement floor
Completion: 2019

Program: Biomedical Engineering Lab, Electrical Engineering Lab, Geomatic Lab, Electric Vehicle Lab, Undergraduate Study Spaces, Project Rooms, Project Garages, Paint Booth, Weld Shop, Chassis, and Dynamometer Test Facility, Office Spaces.

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Stanley Pauley Engineering Building_©James Brittain

There was an increase in the interest of students to pursue engineering throughout Canada. This prompted the University of Manitoba to commission a new facility of engineering with modern technological requirements of labs and student support facilities to accommodate the anticipated enrollment growth. The aim of the facility is to encourage collaboration among students and industrial leaders where discoveries will lead to high-valued professions. This project was given to Stantec Architecture for their design services.

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View from Dafoe Road_©James Brittain

The Dafoe Road is the main vehicular transit route to the campus. Previously, there were many upgrades and renewals done around the existing facilities. Hence, only one opportunity remained for the expansion of the Faculty of Engineering to build the Stanley Pauley Engineering Building along the road, which is now also a distinguished entrance to the campus.

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Front Façade_©James Brittain

The architectural planning presents an organized massing which comprises of three blocks: Academic block, Shop block, and Service block. The first and second floors are cantilevered over the ground floor. Geometric order is observed in the spaces and volumes of this utilitarian program to support career and technical education through hands-on experiences.

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Staircase Block_©James Brittain
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Staircase Block_©James Brittain

The building block is a solid box with a variety of activities spread across all floors. An integrated vertical service block houses stacked mechanical and electrical systems, washrooms, housekeeping rooms, data storage rooms, and a service elevator. It has glazed stairwells on either side of the block which provides vertical circulation. A red steel railing stands in a striking contrast to the surrounding exposed concrete walls.

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Glazed Skywalk_James Brittain
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Interior of Glazed Skywalk_©James Brittain

All floors and program blocks are connected and are accessible by the main circulation spine. On the interior, long, linear floor openings foster visual connection and acoustic interaction between students and faculty. Some of the interior aesthetics are towards an industrial chic style with unconcealed pipe and wiring fittings, exposed concrete walls, and shades of neutral grey, black and white all over.

On the first floor, access is provided to other adjacent engineering buildings. In addition to that, there is a black glazed skywalk that connects to the internal circulation between the new and old buildings.

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Electrical Vehicle Lab_©James Brittain
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Biochemical Labs_©James Brittain
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Labs_©James Brittain
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Hands-on Projects_©James Brittain _

Located on the ground floor, the Shop Block is characterized by an encasing in black granite stack bond masonry shell. It consists of six project garages, a paint booth, a welding shop, chassis, and dynamometer test facilities, and an electrical vehicles lab. The electrical vehicle lab has an access door that directly connects to the road. There is a wide circulation lobby between the project garages, convenient for storing, moving, and working on large-scale student models.

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Exterior Façade_©James Brittain

A vertical, deep black aluminum curtain wall envelopes the Academic Block with black fritted insulating vision glass and dual-glazed spandrels. These glazed glasses display different physical transparency qualities based on the time of the day. This black gridded glazed box appears visually light but has a strong presence along Dafoe Road.

The Academic Block houses academic offices, cooperative program services, labs, meeting rooms, and study spaces.

On the first floor, the admin offices look towards the main road. There is a Geomatics Lab and Electrical Engineering Lab on the same floor. Students study in the graduate students’ study spaces.

On the second floor, there are Biomedical Engineering Labs, along with bigger study spaces for graduate students facing the outdoors.

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Study Spaces_©James Brittain
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Undergraduate zone is located in the basement, which features a two-story light well. These vertical shafts bring natural light to the basement. The labs for electrical and biomedical engineering are also located here. There is a huge undergraduate study space for students in the basement itself.

With a focus to receive a LEED Silver Certification, the two main goals were to reduce energy consumption and maintain the wellness of the inhabitants. These goals were attained through, the radiant cooling of a slab that minimizes the solar gains during summer and the south glazing that maximizes winter solar gains, LED light fittings, and deep daylight penetration from the glazed staircases and light-wells.

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Study Spaces_©James Brittain

Another achievement was the 36% reduced use of potable water and utilization of recycled materials in construction. It was observed that 75% of construction and demolition waste did not end up in landfills. Hence, in total, Stanley Pauley Engineering Building saved up 30% more energy than the expected baseline.

Interiors_©James Brittain

This reduced the overall energy and carbon footprint while preserving a wholesome, energetic environment for the students to learn and research. Therefore, there will be a greater potential to attract new students and faculty members in this state-of-the-art facility.

Citations for articles referred to:

  1. ArchDaily. (2021). Stanley Pauley Engineering Building / Stantec Architecture. [online] Available at:
  2. localhost. (n.d.). Stanley Pauley Engineering Building. [online] Available at:
  3. University of Manitoba – // (2019). The Stanley Pauley Engineering Building officially opens. [online] Available at:

Netra is an architecture graduate who is passionate about all things design, loves to observe how spaces unfold while creating memories and enjoys putting thoughts into words with a design perspective.