Architecture49 to plan ‘major cultural hub’ on Halifax waterfront

Halifax is a big step closer to getting a key addition to its burgeoning waterfront — a “cultural hub” that would include the province’s art gallery and art college. The provincial government announced Tuesday that Halifax’s Architecture49 had been given a $250,000 contract to prepare a facility plan that “will be used in the next steps and final decisions” for the hub.

Architecture49, Halifax waterfront
An evening view of the Halifax waterfront. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The province says the proposed building will “help position Nova Scotia as a world leader in the visual arts.”

It will also include a new public outdoor space.

A feasibility study released in March said both the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia “have both long endured inadequate, inefficient and expensive to operate buildings.”

It said both were seeking new sites and “contemplating a co-location on the Salter Block of the Halifax central waterfront.”

“It is an opportunity to transform a parking lot on the waterfront of Halifax into a dynamic destination for creative innovation and contribute to the profound transformational changes remaking the city,” the study, by Lord Cultural Resources, said.

In the run-up to last year’s provincial election, Premier Stephen McNeil told Halifax councillors the city needed a new art gallery to house collections from artists ranging from Alex Colville to folk painter Maud Lewis.

“We’re the home of … tremendous, world renowned artists. I believe this city needs a new art gallery,” he said at the time.

He said he believes a larger facility would become a major downtown tourism destination.

More information about Architecture49 is available via the company’s official website, linked here.