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DS+R, DIALOG, KPMB Architects, Architecture49 compete for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax

Canada Architecture News - Sep 23, 2020 - 12:26   2105 views

DS+R, DIALOG, KPMB Architects, Architecture49 compete for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax

Three shortlisted teams have been announced to design the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia as part of a Waterfront Arts District in Halifax, Canada

The three teams, selected to develop concepts, include Architecture49 with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hargreaves Jones, DIALOG, Acre Architects, Brackish Design Studio, Shannon Webb-Campbell and KPMB Architects with Omar Gandhi Architect, Jordan Bennett Studio, Elder Lorraine Whitman (NWAC), Public Work and Transsolar.

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia launched the Design Competition Exhibition, which runs until late October and features 3D models, renderings and detailed submissions by three shortlisted design teams. 

As part of the public engagement process, Nova Scotians will have an opportunity to share their feedback on each of the design approaches and concepts.

A new gallery and waterfront arts district reflects the importance of art and culture to our communities and our lives," said Leo Glavine, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. 

"This gallery belongs to all Nova Scotians, and I encourage everyone to visit the exhibit in person or online and share their feedback."

"Public feedback gathered during the exhibition will be considered in the development of the project," said a press statement. 

Following the selection of the winning team, further community engagement will take place across the province. 

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.

As the press statement highlights, "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."

The task included 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.

The public can also view and comment on the submissions online at this page. On September 24 at 6 p.m., the three final teams will present their designs through a livestream on the gallery YouTube Channel and on the website.

The three finalist designs were selected from a six-month, international design competition - the first of its magnitude in Nova Scotia. The winning submission will be chosen in October by a qualified jury of professionals, including architects, a landscape architect, artists and museum professionals.

According to a press statement, the successful design team will carry out a province wide public engagement process. In April 2019, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $30 million in the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia project through the New Building Canada Fund-Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component, National and Regional Projects

The Province of Nova Scotia has committed $70 million towards this project.

See the full shortlisted designs and short description about the projects below:


DS+R, DIALOG, KPMB Architects, Architecture49 compete for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax

DS+R, DIALOG, KPMB Architects, Architecture49 compete for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax

DS+R, DIALOG, KPMB Architects, Architecture49 compete for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax

Images courtesy of Architecture49 with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hargreaves Jones

Architecture49 with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hargreaves Jones

"The new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (AGNS) will be an anti-institution: an open and democratic place catalyzing new currents of cultural life at the Halifax waterfront; a radically inclusive hub where creative engagement engenders both a welcoming and comfortable space for all to convene, and a setting in which the most challenging contemporary issues may be confronted through the medium of art.

The Salter block offers an extraordinary opportunity between downtown and the Port of Halifax for creating a new public space around the AGNS mission. A continuous cultural fabric will connect the city to the boardwalk, right through the AGNS foyer—inviting locals and visitors alike without inhibition to pass through, hangout, mix, and encounter art. At the same, the life of the Gallery will spill out freely to the public with food, education, installation, making and music."

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DS+R, DIALOG, KPMB Architects, Architecture49 compete for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax

DS+R, DIALOG, KPMB Architects, Architecture49 compete for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax

DS+R, DIALOG, KPMB Architects, Architecture49 compete for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax

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

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

"The People’s Gallery is place where different voices and interests come together to create something larger than the individual; it is a place for questions and important conversations. The AGNS aspires to be an agent of social change, an essential service to re-position voices, empower artists and relegate authority, and nowhere is this manifest more clearly than in the Peoples’ Gallery. In fostering inclusive economic growth through cultural tourism, the Peoples’ Gallery creates an authentic sense of place through the arts, a place of belonging for Nova Scotians, shaped by Nova Scotians."

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DS+R, DIALOG, KPMB Architects, Architecture49 compete for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax

DS+R, DIALOG, KPMB Architects, Architecture49 compete for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax

DS+R, DIALOG, KPMB Architects, Architecture49 compete for new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax

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

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

"Mawiomi – a gathering place and gathering of people. This is where feasting, pow wows, ceremonies and visiting happens. No other art space exists that began from Mi’kmaw ways of knowing; a space that breaks away from a square box. Our starting point is rooted within Mi’kmaw knowledge and culture which is universal wisdom and knowledge regarding all living beings in harmony with one another on Mother Earth here on Turtle Island. Our design responds to the call for ‘New Ways of Thinking’: a catalyst for changing how we build sustainable, inclusive spaces for future generations."

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Top image: Architecture49 with Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hargreaves Jones' proposal.

> via Art Gallery of Nova Scotia