Urban Design Awards

Urban Design

Urban design plays an important role in enhancing the quality of life for residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality. Urban design helps build better communities by improving the functionality, sustainability and overall appearance of the public and private spaces. Done well, design makes a lasting positive impact for residents now and in the future. 

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Urban Design Awards 2021 Virtual Ceremony

Thanks to everyone who participated in our online ceremony and CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners! Kudos to all the competitors. We received some fantastic submissions. 

Here's the list of winners:

Civic Design Category
Award of Merit in Civic Design – Keshen Goodman Outdoor Library (Lead Firm: Outside! Landscape Architects)
Award of Excellence in Civic Design – Halifax Waterfront Seabridge (Lead Firm: Develop Nova Scotia)

Community Connections & Initiatives Category
Award of Merit in Community Connections & Initiatives – Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors (Lead Firm: Outside! Landscape Architects) 
Award of Excellence in Community Connections & initiatives – Word Murals (Lead Firm: Fathom Studio)

Urban Fragments Category
Award of Excellence – Alderney Pedway (Lead Firm: Abbott Brown Architects)

Heritage Restoration Category
Award of Excellence – The James Power Cottage Restoration (Lead Firm: DSRA Architects)

Heritage Adaptive Re-use Category
Award of Excellence – City Hall New Clerk’s Offices (Lead Firm: Abbott Brown Architects)

Student Project Category
Award of Excellence – Urban Microregeneration – Zhiyi (Christina) Chen (NSCAD)

Urban Architecture Category
Award of Merit – Tel Lofts (Lead Firm: Abbott Brown Architects)
Award of Merit – Gorsebrook Park (Lead Firm: architectsAlliance in association with Michael Napier Architecture)
Award of Excellence – Velo (Lead Firm: Lydon Lynch Architects)
Award of Excellence – Stanley Street Homes (Lead Firm: Eric Stotts Architect in association with Andrew Lynch) 

View the video of the Virtual Ceremony
View the Awards Presentation (PDF)
View the Jury Report (PDF)

   

Picture of the colourful Urban Design Awards

2021 Urban Design Awards Virtual Ceremony - June 9, 2021

2021 Award Categories

Designers, developers, sponsors, students and owners of projects selected as award winners will receive an Award of Excellence or Honourable Mention in one of eight categories. Projects from all municipal communities will be eligible for awards, whether they are in the Regional Centre or a smaller rural community. Categories include:

  • Urban Design Plans - a plan or a study of a significant area within the municipality that provides a development or redevelopment strategy for urban transformation in the mid-to long-term.
  • Urban Architecture - a building (or group of buildings) that contributes to and supports an urban design plan or initiative.
  • Civic Design Projects - civic improvement projects such as parks, public space, civil engineering or environmental infrastructure, streetscape design, etc. which have been implemented because of a larger urban design plan or initiative.
  • Urban Fragments - single, small-scale pieces of a building or landscape that contribute significantly to the quality of the public realm.
  • Community Connections & Initiatives - any built project, however modest, initiated and implemented by a community-based organization that enhances the public realm.
  • Heritage Restoration Projects - where an important heritage resource or group of resources have been carefully and expertly returned to their original beauty and quality (interior and exterior) while contributing to the successful urban design of the community. A heritage resource can include but is not limited to buildings or urban elements.
  • Heritage Adaptive Re-use Projects - where a heritage resource has been thoughtfully and expertly adapted for a new use while maintaining the integrity and important character elements of the resource. Heritage resources include but are not limited to buildings or urban elements.
  • Student Projects - urban design project with a focus on the Halifax Regional Municipality and completed by a student or group of students enrolled at a local post-secondary institution in the past two years..

Award of Excellence recipients will be eligible for the National RAIC Urban Design Awards in 2021.

View more detail, eligibility and criteria for each category. 

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    Urban Architecture - Winners

    A building (or group of buildings) that contributes to and supports an urban design plan or initiative.

    Gorsebrook Park - intensifies residential uses at the perimeter of a beloved community gathering space, diversifying residential form in the community, and improving the urban fabric at the Park's eastern edge. High-rise housing is becoming common on South End streets, responding to the growing popularity of this historic community as a place to live, study and work. ArchitectsAlliance's response to context and zoning provides 154 homes and a new mid-block connections in the park. Gorsebrook Park is contemporary, accessible, and sociable; it reflects the South End's increasingly diverse and urbane character and the way Haligonians live now. 

    Stanley Street Homes - Urban architecture is less about the buildings themselves and more about the spaces created by the buildings and the context into which the buildings are inserted. The Hydrostone neighbourhood is a designated Historic Site of Canada built 100 years ago for working class families displaced by the Halifax Explosion - this is the context into which eight new homes have been designed and inserted into four vacant lots. these houses maintain the traditional look and scale of Hydrostone houses and the fine grain relationship to the street and neighbourhood beyond, The houses themselves are designed to be innovative, sustainable and complementary to their historic context. 

    Tell Lofts - Tell Lofts on Wentworth Street in Dartmouth is the product of a progressive owner/developer, Bruno Builders, and an award-wining design firm, Abbott Brown Architects.  Together, they saw in an abandoned building the potential to make a radically different kind of development.
    The old structure was retained and refurbished, and on it was built new addition with a steeply pitched roof giving the impression of a new residential form rising up from the old. The finished building contains 24 boutique loft-style rental units. The unusual design enlivens the Dartmouth skyline, especially as seen from the iconic ferry vantage point.

    Velo - Located along Gottingen Street, the Velo was designed to create a positive, vibrant urban experience that recognizes its sense of place within a community that has an important place in our city's history. Designed around a series of private courtyards, it demonstrates what is achievable when creative and meaningful solutions are applied to prescriptive land use By-Laws. Retail storefronts provide a playful geometric pattern that define independent shops and animate the pedestrian experience, while upper residential floors are designed to create a pattern of repetitive yet distinctive forms. The design intent is to re-enforce and re-establish the rich character and vibrancy of Gottingen that creates opportunity for local business and provides much needed housing opportunities. 

     

     

    Civic Design Projects - Winners

    Civic improvement projects such as parks, public space, civil engineering or environmental infrastructure, streetscape design, etc. which have been implemented because of a larger urban design plan or initiative.

    Keshen Goodman Outdoor Library - Halifax Public Libraries has shown strong leadership developing the outdoor library, reminding us of the importance of civic space beyond buildings. Outside! is honoured to have created this playful, lovable outdoor space that extends library capacity and gives Nova Scotians another reason to love their local library. 

    Develop Nova Scotia Sea Bridge - To provide uninterrupted Halifax Waterfront continuity during the Queen's Marque construction, a creative solution was required to provide safe passage to visitors. A Lower Water Street detour would have overwhelmed the street, obstructing traffic and safety as well as commercial operations. The Maritime Museum Wharf was connected to Cable Wharf through a 520ft floating boardwalk. Designed to allow safe pedestrian passage and barge access to service the construction site, as well as to ensure the infrastructure could be re-purposed, the Sea Bridge's popularity was unexpected. Pedestrians loved the close harbour proximity, its movement, and the magic of its lights at night. 


    Urban Fragments - Winner

    Single, small-scale pieces of a building or landscape that contribute significantly to the quality of the public realm.

    Alderney Pedway - The Alderney Pedway crosses over a CN train line and provides a link for pedestrians from the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal to Downtown Dartmouth. A series of interior, universally accessible, ‘pods’ were designed for the Pedway south side, locating pedestrian circulation on the Pedway north side. The experience of travel starts at the bottom of the existing stair and escalator where passengers are guided by a suspended wood ceiling wrapper that continues down the wall of the Pedway to create another zone of enclosure. This same wood element is mirrored in the new floor pattern where wood tiles are set into the new charcoal floor tiles.


    Community Connections & Initiatives - Winners

    Any built project, however modest, initiated and implemented by a community-based organization that enhances the public realm.

    Daffodil Garden - Cancer touches all of us and Outside! Landscape Architects Inc. is honoured to have designed the Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors on the Dartmouth Waterfront. Outside! helped bring the vision of dedicated volunteers, Judie & Jim Edgar, to life. An amazing team effort, Outside! thanks all the people who supported the project including the volunteers who planted 6500 daffodil bulbs. Anyone seeking inspiration and hope is encouraged to visit. 

    Word Murals - Downtown Dartmouth wants you to look hard and think big. Dartmouth Word Murals marks a series of phrases placed on buildings throughout the downtown to inspire, motivate and encourage reflection. In partnership with the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, Fathom Studio designed and oversaw the installation of 14 word murals on familiar and unexpected places in the downtown core and a T-shirt campaign to fundraise for the Street Navigator Outreach Program. Take care and be kind.

     


    Heritage Restoration Projects - Winner

    Where an important heritage resource or group of resources have been carefully and expertly returned to their original beauty and quality (interior and exterior) while contributing to the successful urban design of the community. A heritage resource can include but is not limited to buildings or urban elements..

    Power Cottage - The building was designed by Architect J. C. Dumaresq, in a delightful composition utilizing architectural elements available from a metalwork catalogue, combined with decorative brick and stonework. The architectural detailing is unique and includes projections of different types and shapes and a round turret over a curved front entrance stair. The building now looks much as it was when built, with the exception of the bell section of the turret, which we chose to re-do in a painted copper diamond pattern over the replicated lattice bell shape and decorative diamond cedar shakes were used instead of metal to better represent the original finish found under two layers of repairs.


    Heritage Adaptive Re-use Projects - Winner

    Where a heritage resource has been thoughtfully and expertly adapted for a new use while maintaining the integrity and important character elements of the resource. Heritage resources include but are not limited to buildings or urban elements.

    City Clerk Office - The design amalgamates the offices of the City Clerk into one functional space, and makes this historic space - otherwise hidden from view - accessible to the public, opening it up to other parts of the building for visual and physical connections. A juxtaposition is created between the old and new, the light and the heavy, stereotomoic and techtonic elements, smooth and rough tactile surfaces. The roughness of the brick is countered with smooth digitally printed glass, and high gloss millwork finishes. The result is a space that reminds us of the past, moves us into the future with improved visual connectivity and tactile material quality for this urban space. 


    Student Projects - Winner

    Urban design project with a focus on the Halifax Regional Municipality and completed by a student or group of students enrolled at a local post-secondary institution in the past two years.

    Urban Microregeneration  - is a design strategy to redevelop the urban living environment to re-find the value of the space. The design outcome of this project chosen to increase local citizens’ awareness of one another via improved interactivity in public is regeneration of a public waiting space based on the research of user behaviours in three urban-express routes transfer stops in downtown Halifax. By determining and executing this outcome, the regenerated environment has the possibility of redefining transit waiting behaviours in the urban living community. As mentioned previously, the design consideration of this public waiting space regeneration project includes the comfortability of the environment based on land-use, temperature, lights, cleaning, risks (crime), appropriateness of information notification system and accessible facilities.

    Urban Microregeneration

    Urban Microregeneration


    Juror Biographies

    Anne McIlroy, BFA, B.Arch / FRAIC, RPP, FCIP
    Principal, Brook McIlroy
     
    Anne McIlroy is a Principal of Brook McIlroy, and has over thirty years of experience as an urban designer and project manager for urban design projects in Canada and the United States. Anne has particular expertise with sustainable university, waterfront and community master plans and urban design guidelines.
     
    Anne is the vice-chair of the National Capital Commission Advisory Committee on Planning Design and Realty (2014 to present) and Chair of the Toronto Community and Housing Design Review Panel (2012 to present). Anne is a recognized expert in public consultation and serves as a Juror for Urban Design Award programs throughout Canada and the United States. She speaks regularly as a sessional lecturer for universities and on topics of sustainable community design

     

    Antonio Gόmez-Palacio, Arq. MES, RPP, MCIP, MRAIC
    Principal, DIALOG

    Antonio’s professional experience and research focuses on the intersection of architecture, planning and urban design. He is internationally recognized for transforming cities into vibrant urban places, which respond to their social, economic and environmental context. Antonio has worked on a wide range of projects focused on urban intensification, master planning, mixed-use, transit, heritage, economic development and sustainability, as facilitated through participatory processes.

    In addition to making a difference in communities through his professional practice, Antonio has acted as the Chair of the Toronto Society of Architects and Vaughan’s Design Review Panel, and is involved with a number of industry initiatives and organizations including the Canadian Institute of Planners, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and the Canadian Urban Transit Association. Antonio is a founding partner of DIALOG and formerly of Office for Urbanism. In 2018 he was named to the RAIC College of Fellows in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the design community.

     

    Joseli Macedo, Ph.D.
    Professor, School of Planning, Dalhousie University

    Joseli Macedo is a Professor in the School of Planning and former Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at Dalhousie University. Prior to joining Dalhousie, she was Head of School of Design and the Built Environment at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. At the University of Florida, in the U.S., Joseli served as Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Director of the Center for International Design and Planning, and Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Latin American Studies and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment A Fulbright-Nehru scholar, she has taught and conducted research in the Americas, India and Australia in the areas of sustainable cities, urban design, and international development planning for over 25 years.

    She is the author of several articles and book chapters on land policy and land tenure, housing policy, city design and urban form, urban planning history, and pedagogy. Joseli has also served as a consultant to the World Bank in the U.S. and to the GAIA Consortium in Brazil.

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    Call for Submissions

    The Call for Submissions for the 2021 Halifax Urban Design Awards has closed. 
    View the award category details (PDF)  and submission form (fillable PDF).

    Entry Fee: An entry fee must accompany each submission, except for student project submissions.  Given that the awards will be taking place in a virtual format, the entry fee for the 2021 Halifax Urban Design Awards is $115 inclusive of HST.   
     

    Have questions? Please email urbandesign@halifax.ca

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    It is our intention that an award ceremony will be held every two years to honour design excellence.

    For more information, email urbandesign@halifax.ca

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