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Manitoba's Tower of Hope

Staff writers
October 2, 2012 — The design of Manitoba's Tower of Hope considers both the environment and certain weather extremes.

Tower of Hope built to withstand extreme weather conditions
Tower of Hope built to withstand extreme weather conditions

Rising taller than the Manitoba Legislature’s Golden Boy, the 23 storey Tower of Hope at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg was inspired by Canada's diverse landscapes. 

It had to take the province’s diverse weather extremes into account as well. 

"When you look at this unique design that was created by Antoine Predock, it obviously incorporates a large amount of glass," explains Stuart Murray, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. "And we refer to that glass as a "cloud." That glass takes advantage of the large amounts of sunshine that of course we receive in Winnipeg year-round." 

Murray adds that the weather did pose a challenge for the museum as they had to ensure that it would stand up to some of the extreme weather conditions seen in Winnipeg.

"We look at weather here in Winnipeg and we always call it the "30s". Sometimes -30 degrees celsius in the winter to over 30 degrees Celsius in the summer,” says Murray.

The opening of the museum is scheduled for 2014
The opening of the museum is scheduled for 2014

A special type of glass was selected for the Tower. It keeps the entire building comfortable for visitors and is environmentally friendly as well. 

"Glass that has a permanent dot pattern, which is actually on the inside, the inner surface of the glaze of these units, is referred to by the industry as a "frit." We were able to test the glass for condensation, for all the maximum temperatures, indoor/outdoor temperatures, humidity levels, and it passed with flying colours," explains Murray. 

The frit is a very important piece of the glazing as it controls how much light comes into the building. That of course would reduce the amount of glare on the interior as well.

"And the thing that’s really important is that they can’t be damaged either by cleaning, or scrubbing and they’re not affected by moisture. They’re a significant part of the museum’s energy efficiency and also for the life of the building," Murray adds. 

With the final pane of glass recently installed, work continues on the inside of the museum in anticipation of its opening in 2014.

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