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Students Exploring Tectonic Constructions in Precast Concrete

University of Manitoba, Winnipeg , Manitoba

Students in the Precast Studio at University of Manitoba began the year with a focus on exploring the nature and psychology of rooms, spaces, territories and their relation and proximity to others, whether real, imagined, unrevealed [not known] or not yet present [potential]. Working with Assistant Professor Neil Minuk and Lecturer Jon Reid, the students explored their own living circumstances and situations - both real and fictive. They studied specific conditions and interfaces. Their explorations then developed into architectural propositions.

The first term was a research term to identify a quality or condition to manifest physically in a precast concrete tectonic construction. Students then made proto elements that were expanded into larger buildings.

During the first semester, students focused on the nature of the interface subjectively, and in great detail, to draw plans, sections, and perspectives of this investigated. Both sides of the relation were examined. These two-dimensional drawings sought to exude the lived world. This embodied character played itself out into an embodied physical world of precast concrete.

The second term began in January and expanded on the work of the first semester with a building project. Students developed a ten 50-unit residential projects in a comprehensive, holistic manner. Each student had an additional program of their choosing focusing on specific intended inhabitants and their needs and relations within the project and larger context.


  • The University of Manitoba program allows students to select their studio professors.

  • The program consists of year-long studios where hand drawing and physical modelling are promoted in addition to digital methods of representation.

  • Students are encouraged to design and think through the act of making and drawing.

  • A diversity and plurality of beliefs and positions are encouraged and supported.

  • Specifically, in regards to the Precast Studio, students developed tectonic constructions in precast concrete that hold meaning of psychological qualities.

  • Students produced analogous tectonic constructions at a reduced scale and they focused on living and psychological qualities that might be embodied in architecture.


University of Manitoba Faculty:

Neil Minuk, Assistant Professor, Architecture, MAA

Jon Reid, Lecturer, Architecture, P.Eng, M.Arch, Wolfrom Engineering

Industry Partners:

Lafarge Canada

Walter Meadus

Multicrete Precast Systems

Darren Swire

Student Statistics

  • Students degree program is masters in architecture

  • The 2020 / 2021 University of Manitoba CPCI year-long Precast Studio has 10 students, all at the Masters 1 level.


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