DESIGN COMPETITION FOR THE NEW WATERFRONT ARTS DISTRICT

Join us September 24 at 6:00pm on YouTube live for the Design Competition presentation.

PROJECT VISION

This Vision Statement shall serve as a touchstone to guide and to inform the overall direction of the project:

 “The arts district will be a welcoming and inclusive public gathering place on the Halifax Waterfront that showcases the best in contemporary art and public programs. Developed with Nova Scotians for Nova Scotians, the Arts District will increase opportunities for all to access and experience art, celebrate our diverse and unique stories through the arts, and enhance the overall waterfront experience.”

DESIGN COMPETITION FOR THE NEW WATERFRONT ARTS DISTRICT

Throughout the summer of 2020, three consultant teams have developed conceptual designs for the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia as part of a Waterfront Arts District in a bid to compete for the final contract. The three teams are:

  • Architecture49 with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hargreaves Jones
  • DIALOG, ACRE ARCHITECTS, BRACKISH DESIGN STUDIO, SHANNON WEBB-CAMPBELL
  • KPMB Architects with Omar Gandhi Architect, Jordan Bennett Studio, Elder Lorraine Whitman (NWAC), Public Work and Transsolar

The exhibition on view at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia represents the work completed by all three teams.

THE SITE

The site is identified as the Salter Block and is one of only two remaining unencumbered major development sites on the Halifax Waterfront. Mindful of our place on the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people, the Art Gallery recognizes the historic importance of the site on the waterfront.

WHAT WERE THE TEAMS ASKED TO DESIGN?

Teams were asked to provide a design for a new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and public space on the Halifax Waterfront as part of a new Waterfront Arts District. Space in the southeast corner was meant to be left for a future development at the Arts District. Teams were given a detailed project brief and a space program (list of rooms, sizes, and qualities) for a new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia building and public space.

Included were some important considerations for flexible programming and events in the public space as well as active daily use. Finally, teams were challenged to provide a strategy for arts-based commercial space (e.g. food and beverage, retail) to further activate the site. Teams were also asked to design to the design objectives and additional criteria such as a construction budget, building performance metrics related to energy and carbon, climate change, accessibility targets, planning design criteria, project vision, and the new vision for the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

Now, we want to hear what you think of the three conceptual designs. Your feedback will be provided to the winning team to use at the start of their work and will help to guide engagement and design moving forward. Help shape the future of art in Nova Scotia

The final conceptual design will be chosen by a qualified jury of professionals, with an announcement following the selection process. The new, art gallery and public space will provide access to art, culture, world class exhibitions, events and programming for all Nova Scotians and visitors to the province.

The Finalists:

Architecture49 with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hargreaves Jones

Architecture49 (A49) and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) along with Hargreaves Jones bring a deep commitment to redefining the relationship between institutions and the public realm in cities around the world. In conceiving art museums, our goal is always to rethink their institutional nature in order to break down traditional barriers between cultural silos, between diverse audiences, and between architecture and its broader urban context. For the AGNS, we have envisioned a ‘soft icon’ with a bold presence on the waterfront – one that serves as an accessible hub for the entire community and feels materially grounded in place.

View Design

DIALOG, Acre Architects, Brackish Design Studio and Shannon Webb-Campbell

Our design for the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia as part of a Waterfront Arts District is really a meeting place for the citizens of Nova Scotia and visitors from around the world; a connector between the city and the water, public space and art. The art gallery is also a space for reflecting on our present circumstances in a complex world and the need for new relationships between one another, between art and its many current and future publics and between the built and natural worlds. The gallery is an open invitation to consider future ways of thinking, seeing, doing and living. To imagine a Sea Change.

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KPMB Architects with Omar Gandhi Architect, Jordan Bennett Studio, Elder Lorraine Whitman (NWAC), Public Work and Transsolar

Our integrated team has co-created a design inspired by the rich culture and Indigenous ways of thinking of the Mi’kmaq people, radically shifting the paradigm of a major provincial art institution to be open, accessible, welcoming, relevant, and unique in every way. We have imagined a transformative place on the Halifax waterfront that catalyzes new ways of thinking and being, new networks and relationships, all set within a regenerative landscape that builds the site from the ground up.

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Project Partners: