Metro Engagement – Design Concepts and Streetscape

When: October 3, 2012 — 7 - 9pm

Where: Kenneth C. Rowe Heritage Hall, Pier 21, Halifax

On October 3rd we gathered to reveal and discuss the initial design concepts for Nova Centre. These designs have been shaped by the input form the public engagement sessions helpd in Halifax and around Nova sCotia over the summer. We’ll be posting a recap and video of the event soon. You can learn more about the public engagement process and see visuals of what we’ve heard here.

This is still very much a work in progress, so please leave us your feedback below!

 

 

 

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549915652 Kevin Pope

    I love how open the Argyle side is and the video screen is an awesome addition. Argyle Street will be fantastic with this new addition to it. I can’t wait to see more renderings and the final ones for sure.

  • Richard C.

    The only part i can potential see as a problem with is there’s too much emphasis on seating outside the centre. Not sure if this is meant as rest stops or as potantial customers for dining and drinks. One really should want people to go inside and to visit the Nova Centre from with-in. Argyle’s walking patrons looking for a bite or drink outside should be left mostly to the business community that has served them well for many of years. The Nova Centre could have a eatery/resturant, pub or lounge the moment you walk through the doors. The dollar that is currently found on the streets of Argyle should remain on the street for the businesses to benefit. The Nova Centre can’t be everything to everyone on Argyle Street or in the end the street will never be the same. Theres other ways to make the experience on Argyle street enjoyable from the Nova Centre’s side and i think you know my thoughts on what that could be. Either way, still rooting you on…Cheers!

    • Richard C.

      The only part i potentially see as a problem with is there’s too much emphasis on seating outside the centre. Not sure if this is meant as rest stops or as potential customers for dining and drinks. One really should want people to go inside and to visit the Nova Centre from with-in. Argyle’s walking patrons looking for a bite or drink outside should be left mostly to the business community that has served them well for many of years. The Nova Centre could have a eatery/resturant, pub or lounge the moment you walk through the doors. The dollar that is currently found on the street of Argyle should remain on the street for the businesses to benefit. The Nova Centre can’t be everything to everyone on Argyle Street or in the end the street will never be the same in both character and charm. Theres other ways to make the experience enjoyable from the Nova Centre’s Argyle street side and i think you know my thoughts on what that could be. Either way, still rooting you on…Cheers!

  • Richard C.

    Due to my two finger typing and lack of edit, once again…..The only part i potentially see as a problem is there’s too much emphasis on seating outside the centre. Not sure if this is meant as rest stops or as potential customers for dining and drinks. One really should want people to go inside and to visit the Nova Centre from with-in. Argyle’s walking patrons looking for a drink or bite to eat outside should be left mostly to the business community that has served them well for many of years. The Nova Centre could have a eatery/resturant, pub or lounge the moment you walk through the doors. But the dollar that is currently found on the street of Argyle should remain on the street for the businesses to benefit. The Nova Centre can’t be everything to everyone on Argyle Street or in the end the street will never be the same. Theres other ways to make the experience on Argyle street enjoyable from the Nova Centre’s side and i think you know my thoughts on what that could be. Either way, still rooting you on…Cheers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/paultaylor42 Paul Taylor

    Richard and Kimberly I can’t see why the concept will not enhance as opposed to hurt the businesses on the other side of the street. The Grafton Arcade will be an additional draw to the area. Considering that the block above Grafton has been vacant for decades I think the entire thing and the public engagement is very positive. Where before you had a very lifeless building for the Halifax Herald offices you are going to have a much more dynamic space with what has been laid out so far. 

  • Scott

    In almost every other Canadian city this wouldn’t be allowed to be built without some sort of affordable housing component. No one can afford to live down town, and this does nothing to remedy this. 

  • Pmdunn

    Hmmm …. the building LOOMS over Argyle Street – a set-back would improve this – round off the corners (where the design is coloured blue), and above these rounded-off corners, provide a quarter circle of public seating, including interior and exterior stairway access to the outer wall, where people can look out over the street.
    Since this is a done deal – THINK HARD about a gentle, seaside feeling.

  • Moosemanic

    Would be nice if some technology could be used to direct some sunlight to the current side of the street during the afternoon/evening. So inviting to sit on the patios there now and relax. Not so much once place is darkened and colder due to lack of the natural light!

  • drybrain

    The Argyle Street side looks great, but I have to disagree about the video screen–surely it’ll just be flashing ads at people sitting on the patios across the street all the time? Trust me, having lived in lots of cities with loads of outdoor video screens, they lose their cool-factor really fast. They’re mostly just distracting and irritating.

    • Alex Kawchuk

      It would be cool if instead of a “video” screen there was a “Tonight on Argyle” feature listing shows and events happening in venues along Argyle Street – including small live performances at pubs like Durty Nelly’s and the Loose Cannon, larger shows at the Argyle, Seahorse, Toothy Moose and Carleton, DJs at the Dome, performances at the Neptune, games and concerts at the Metro Centre, and events on the Grand Parade. Presumably many of the events held in the Nova Centre will be open to the public, and they could also be listed. The display could be a simple scrolling marquee, either stand-alone or integrated into a larger video screen.

      This would not only help to tie the new development in with the existing entertainment district, it would be useful to the general public and tourists and would benefit the existing venues, as well as giving increased exposure to local talent.

  • Pmdunn

    drybrain is right – the video screen is a LOUSY idea. These screens are pretty much without redeeming features: too busy, distracting, intrusive. Kind of like incessant tweets, etc. How about a publically accessible balcony instead? Maybe with an interior cafe – people can walk up there, grab a coffee, go out on the balcony and rest their tired feet on the padded railing. Construct it with removable glass for summer and a heating system for winter.

  • Nick S.

    Interesting design. My worries: 
    First, Grafton Street Arcade will not be so much of an arcade that one would see in cities such as Milan, but rather a desolate wind tunnel that people will be afraid to use at night due to the single-use nature of the space. What will be the uses along that arcade? Will it die at night? In the winter? I would like to see an emphasis on mixed-use development there. We have a great opportunity to make that space great. 
    Second, the sheer volume of parking spots is enough to make anyone worry. I believe the figure is approaching 500 spaces. Furthermore, the planned entrance for these vehicles is from Argyle–a street identified as *the* prime candidate for pedestrianization, moving priority away from the private automobile. I can only see this orientation conflicting with that vision. I would like to see less parking and moving the entrance to one of the hill streets, no matter the increase in costs. We can figure it out, just not on Argyle.  

  • http://buildyourcentre.ca/ BuildYourCentre.ca

    Some very detailed feedback on the Nova Centre design from Andrew Burke on his blog: 

    http://www.andrewburke.ca/ajlb/viewBlogEntry.php?ref=242

    Thanks for sharing Andrew! Keep the feedback coming everyone.

  • H.Brook.

    A few concerns:  I worry about how the centre will darken Argyle Street….a more terrassed approach to that side of the centre would allow a little more light and maybe reduce the wind tunnel effect that the centre will no doubt generate.  The video screen on Argyle is a huge distraction.  It’s not like some public square where people could gather to watch a gold-medal hockey game for example, and I all can see scrolling across the screen is an endless run of annoying advertissements.  I also wonder how the space will fare with the revellers on Argyle Street late at night.  A parking entrance on Argyle is a no-no.  Promoting a pedestrian friendly-street but with 500 cars rolling in and out at all hours is a significant conflict.  Entrance on Sackville, exit on Prince, or vice versa.  The entrance to the atrium/plaza is disappointing….escalators? UGLY!  Stairs, please, from Argyle to Grafton with elevators for those who cannot use them. There are not enough views showing what the centre would like like from Citadel Hill, and how it will impact the view planes….will George’s Island be obscured?  That would be a loss.  Hope that the top level of the ballroom will have some public access, again for views.  What exactly will be inside the Grafton Street arcade?  WIll it become a new streetscape with shops/cafes, small restaurants (please no fast food eateries!!!!) or will it become a dead zone at night like most of Sparkes St. in Ottawa? Need to look at the Woodworth’s Building area in Vancouver to see the kind of great small-business eateries/coffee shops etc that should be encouraged. 

    At least there is good discussion….    

  • http://www.facebook.com/marcus.garnet.5 Marcus Garnet

    There should be provision for a direct connection with any future rapid transit serving downtown Halifax.  Little seems to have been said about how one would reach the Nova Centre by public transit.  
    At the very least, there should be awnings or an underground pedway link to Barringtonn Street or Scotia Square.  
    If Halifax ever gets some form of light rail or streetcar, perhaps it should terminate somewhere near the Nova Centre.  Alternatively, some of the 500 parking spaces could be designed to be convertible to a light rail station in the distant future, just to keep our options open.

  • 97xj

    i hope thear is enough parking ..my truck is too high to fit in halifax shoping cinter..

  • denverFrance

    Hi i’m French from PARIS, but i live for summer on my Little Island in Halifax County (Little Harbour). since 12 years. I appreciate you way because in France it’a not same, everythings build are build generaly without discuss and wiches from simple people!!BRAVO to you and to your staff mind.
    I appreciate your futur design but i prefere style with coub line and not straight line (like cube!).
    Colors for sure! BENCH, BENCH, and many BENCH (ROUND Bench to seat down, because in HALIFAX you walk a lot and sometimes up sometimes down town, touristic people tired need to seat well and fast.
    Glasses, modern ok, not tall, easy to go with bicycle and easy to RENT Bicycle ON PLACE!  Good luck .

    Best regards
    Mathieu GUILLOTIN

Share: