Description of Historic Place
The Drill Hall, also known as Building B8 and Korea Hall, located at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Winnipeg, is a basic two-storey rectangular structure with a medium pitched gable roof, surrounded on its front and side elevations by a projecting one-storey flat-roofed bay. Its design is characterized by a strong horizontal expression, which is articulated through band windows, and also features large expanses of glazing at the gable ends. The drill hall is located within a complex of other similar 1950s and 1960s buildings. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Drill Hall is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Built in 1955, the Drill Hall is a useful example of the establishment of a large permanent regular force in response to Canada’s NATO and other Cold War commitments. One of the early buildings of the initial phase of development of CFB Winnipeg, the building is also a very good example of the creation of the base as a significant turning point in the development of the surrounding residential neighbourhoods.
The Drill Hall is a good example of a standard plan, designed by the well-known firm of Gordon S. Adamson & Associates and widely used by the Department of National Defence on several of its military bases during the 1950s. A modern interpretation of a traditional building type, it features a simple and unadorned composition and conveys a sense of permanence. Its good standard layout, also a modern version of the well-established typology for drill halls, has served its function well, as demonstrated by its continuity of use.
The Drill Hall reinforces the military character of the base through its visual identity as a training structure and distinctive design. Its central location and use as a gathering space for various events have also contributed to making the building a familiar landmark to the community of the base.
Source: Alexandra Mosquin and Kate MacFarlane, Drill Hall and Electronic Ranges (B8), 1984 Grant Avenue, Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg South, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 01-090.
The following character-defining elements of the Drill Hall should be respected.
Its simple and modern interpretation of the traditional drill hall typology, its functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, as evidenced in:
- its simple and unadorned overall composition, made up of the contrasting volumes and roof lines of the building’s central gabled portion and the lower flat-roofed side bays;
- its strong horizontality as expressed through the use of horizontal band windows on the side elevations;
- the large expanses of glazing at the roof peaks at the front and rear elevations;
- the standard interior layout consisting of a large central training space surrounded by smaller spaces accommodating offices, the shooting range and service areas;
- the building’s rationalized structural concrete frame, including the pre-cast concrete slab roof and steel beam and concrete block structural walls, which was a standard approach for this building type;
- the durable exterior materials including concrete, brick, steel and glass;
- the offset main entrance door, which contrasts with the overall symmetry of the building.
The manner in which the building reinforces the military character of the base, through its continuous use as a drill hall, distinctive design and the sense of permanence it conveys, as manifested in:
- the visual identity of the building as a training structure, due to its scale and location;
- its scale, materials and architectural components, which are similar to those of neighbouring buildings;
- the building’s relationship to the parade ground which it frames along with three administrative buildings.