Proposed Commercial/Residential

Barrington Street & South Street

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Prepared By: Paul Skerry Associates Limited

Prepared For: Principal Development Ltd.



1 Summary / References

Current Conditions / Design Rationale

Schedule S-1 Design Manual - Relevant Criteria



The project provides an excellent opportunity for the redevelopment of a prominent corner and integrate new commercial and residential facilities in downtown Halifax. The intent is to provide a high quality design and form a catalyst for the further upgrading of the immediate area. The site is centrally located on one of Halifax’s commercial streets which is fully serviced with municipal infrastructure and transit.


Downtown Halifax Land Use By-Law

Schedule S-1 Design Manual



The existing land use is a three storey wood framed residential building with minor commercial use. The estimated height of the building is 45-50'. The building is situated approximately 30' back from South Street and 20' from Barrington Street. The building consists of 17 residential units and a commercial space of 945sf. Adjacent properties include a couple of two storey buildings and a six storey development along Barrington Street. Along South Street, a proposed seven storey development, of similar scale as this proposal, has already been approved by the city. Across South Street is Cornwallis Park, and the other two corner lots have four storey buildings approximately 50' high.


The proposed building will be a welcome improvement to the downtown. It will provide 5,700sf of commercial space on street level, 40 residential units on four stories, 2 penthouse units, and two levels of underground parking. The project is located close to all the amenities and attractions of an urban centre, including schools, the Citadel, restaurants, the downtown business district, parks, and within walking distance of most urban amenities. Bus stops are conveniently located near the building for easy access throughout the city.

With the approved seven storey proposal next door (on the corner of South & Hollis), the W Lofts, Vic Suites close by, we are looking to continue the trend of invigorating the area with a modern building. The five storey street-wall will maintain the pedestrian scale of downtown and the architectural integrity of the streets. The street wall along South Street is set back four metres allowing for commercial units to "spill out" onto an open outdoor pedestrian space. The proposal includes the use of high quality and articulated materials on the street wall. This will give the building a welcoming aspect and should encourage further upgrades to the area.

People are moving back into the cities, this means the redevelopment of older neighbourhoods with more density is important. The commercial area will house multiple units to attract locals and passer-by's to the area. The residential portion will consist of 42 units made up of one, two, and three bedroom apartments which will attract a variety of residents and users.

Overall this building will help boost the area economically and socially and will be a main stay for future generations to enjoy.



2.2 Precinct 2: Barrington Street South

2.2(a) The development is planned for a mid-rise mixed-use development of five (5) stories plus a penthouse. The proposal respects the size of existing developments in the area.

2.2(b) The ground floor uses will be active with a large commercial frontage along South Street. The four metre setback will generate a pleasant outdoor pedestrian experience for all users to enjoy.

2.2(d) The development helps appropriately frame Cornwallis Park and respects the train station. The development follows the setback and street-wall height requirements laid out in the by-law.

3.1 The Streetwall

3.1.1 Pedestrian OrientedCommercial

3.1.2 Streetwall Setback

3.1.3 Streetwall Height

The existing grades at the streetwall along the property range from a low point of 36.5' to a maximum of 47.5'. Hence, the average grade is listed at 42.0'. The existing facade measures at 54.3' (16.5m) along Barrington Street & 63.0' (19.5m) Along South Street, framing Cornwallis Park.

3.2 Pedestrian Streetscapes

3.2.1 Design of the Streetwall

3.2.2 Building Orientation

3.2.2(a) The proposed building comes right to the sidewalk with definitive entry points. The residential entrance is clearly noticeable with a unique architectural canopy.

3.2.2(b) The four metre setback off South Street will allow for patios and other spill-out activities. This area will be a pleasant outdoor pedestrian experience .

3.2.3 Retail Uses

3.2.3(a) The percentage of non-reflective and non tinted glazing along the first floor is design to be 75.4%.

3.2.3(d) Retail entries are from South Street.

3.2.3(e) Columns are recessed within the building to allow continuous view of retail display and signage.

3.2.3(f) All entrances are at grade. The floor level steps down a few times for the residential and commercial entrances along both Barrington and South Streets.

3.2.4 Residential Uses

3.2.4(b) The residential units are accessed by a common entrance and lobby at ground level along Barrington Street. The entrance is clearly recognizable with signage and an architectural canopy over the entry doors.

3.2.4(d) All units will have access to the landscaped roof deck by means of elevator or stairwell.

3.2.4(f) The building materials will include air-tight wall and floor assemblies using the mass of the assembly and sound insulation. Windows will be comprised of compressive gaskets and the aluminum window wall will be back sprayed with 5mil. glazing.

3.2.5 Sloping Conditions

3.2.5(a) The ground floor level steps to match the existing sidewalk grade and allow for drainage and barrier free accessibility.

3.3 Building Design

3.3.1 Building Articulation

3.3.1(a) Base: The first level of the proposed building provide a clear base of the building with the use of glazing, doors, canopies and masonry.

Middle: The second through fifth floors consists ofresidential units with bay windows located in rhythm along the streetscape.

Top: The clerestory and penthouse is stepped back and clad in a metal panel and window wall system. The canopy at roof level symbolizes the vertical termination of the building.

3.3.1(b) The streetwall will respect the adjacent buildings by using high quality materials and rheum to differentiate the look, while respecting the context and tradition of downtown.

3.3.1(c) The visual breakup of the building mass is one of the main concepts of the design. The corner section is extruded from the building face and consists of mainly glass and spandrel

panels. The Juliet balconies provide another horizontal break in the mass. Vertically, the ground level masonry and upper story step back breaks up the mass of the building.

3.3.1(d) The quality of design and articulation is extended beyond the street facing facades and carried to the back and side elevations.

3.3.2 Materials

3.3.2(b) The proposed building will have a basic material palette of masonry, curtain wall, siding, and metal or ceramic panels for a unified building image. We are proposing a few different colors of panels for architectural intrigue and to visually break up the building mass.

3.3.2(h) Vinyl siding, plastic, plywood, concrete block, EIFS, and metal siding with exposed fasteners will not be used as exterior materials.

3.3.3 Entrances

3.3.3(a&b) The use of an architectural canopy give a strong, prominent clue of the residential entrance .

3.3.4 Roof Line and Roofscapes

3.3.4(b) The building top and roof incorporates the penthouse canopy, use of the metal panel, and datum lines to signify the building top.

3.3.4(c) The roof will be fully landscaped and accessible for the residential tenants.

3.3.4(d) Mechanical equipment will be located in the parking garage. If any mechanical equipment is necessary on the roof top, it will be screened from view by strategically placing the equipment within the rooftop garden design. Elevator and stairway head-houses are incorporated in the rooftop structure along with the penthouse units.

3.4 Civic Character

3.4.2 Corner Sites

3.4.2(a) The massing of the corner is distinguished by the angled entry on ground level, and the sloping clerestory on the top level.

3.4.2(c&d) Both facing facade s provide a frontal design. The frontage along South Street is setback four metres that defines the edge for Cornwallis Park.

3.5 Parking, Services, and Utilities

3.5.1 Vehicular Access,Circulation,Loading,andUtilities

3.5.1(a) Two levels of parking garage are proposed. The entrance is located near the back of the lot from South Street. Architects, city planners and traffic engineers preferred this location over an entrance off of Barrington Street.

3.5.1(b) The design minimizes the width of the frontage used for the parking garage entrance. The garage is proposed to be 12' wide with a 20' driveway (23' curb cut).

3.5.4 Lighting

3.5.4(a) Lighting will be provided along the South Street setback to provide ambient and safety lighting.

3.5.4(b&c) Up lighting will be considered to highlight the facade at the pedestrian scale. Other illumination will be considered for dramatic architectural expression.

3.5.5 Signs

3.5.5(a) The main building signage for the residential entrance will be displayed in large backlit individual letters mounted next to the lobby entrance. Commercial signage will be displayed in large backlit individual letters mounted on the sign band.

3.5.5(b) Signs will not obscure windows, cornices, or other architectural elements.

5.2 Sustainable Guidelines

5.2.1 Sustainable Sites
5.2.1(f) Light coloured roofing materials will be employed. 5.2.1(g) Light coloured materials will be used for any hard surface. 5.2.1(i) Exterior lighting will comply with shielding or cut-off requirements whenever possible to limit light pollution.

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