URBAN DESIGN & MASTER PLANNING
LOCATION: Rockingham, Nova Scotia
ARCHITECT: IBI Group Architects
DESIGN LEADERSHIP: Michael Poitras, Consultant-in-Charge
CLIENT: Southwest Properties Ltd.
- 163 single detached dwellings
- 22 town house dwellings
- 8 apartment buildings (842 dwelling units)
- 6 mixed-use commercial residential buildings (830 dwelling units + 55,983 ft2 (5,201 m2) commercial space)
- 9 condominiums (949 dwelling units)
- 20 retail spaces totalling 55,972 ft2 (5,200 m2)
Located in Rockingham, Nova Scotia, on a parcel of land known as The Sisters of Charity Motherhouse Grounds, is a sloping picturesque property overlooking the watery shores of Bedford Basin. Just 1.2 miles (2 km) north of Halifax, the development is perfectly situated for a commuter lifestyle. Accessed off of the Bedford Highway, Seton Road brings one past Saint Vincent University, rising in a gentle arch, peaking at Motherhouse. This main commercial road has been re-configured to accommodate 15 apartments and condominiums, all of which have commercial/retail bases. Another four condominiums are located just off of Seton Road, adding still more density to the project. Organized like the spokes on a bicycle tire, the apartments and condominiums maintain a steady radiating rhythm of gaps, constantly leading the eye beyond the built form, to the distant views of Bedford Basin. These same “gaps” between the buildings organize secondary roads, underground parking entrances, walking paths, parks and public spaces.
Near the center of Seton Road, just south of Motherhouse, is an 15-storey condominium tower – the tallest building in the project – set well back from Seton Road. Due to its height, the tower becomes a focal point when viewed from a distance, demarcating the “center of town”. Opposite the tower and across the street can be found the main public outdoor terrace, offering breathtaking views of the landscape beyond. The community centre, tucked neatly below the terrace, is the social center of the development, directly adjacent to the main park (Park ‘A’).
Strategically located south and west of Seton Road’s arching Commercial Street are two residential subdivisions made from a variety of housing types. Here, two-storey houses come in a variety of sizes, with the larger homes typically sited on the biggest lots. Town houses have also found their way into these subdivisions, where their three and four-storey heights are strategically placed so as to have the least amount of impact on adjacent houses. Critical to the success of both of these subdivisions is an integration of pedestrian walking paths, giving residents quick walking access to all parts of this project.
Lastly, four parks (Parks A, B, C & D) have been inserted into this development, complementing this naturally picturesque environment. Here, the natural and man-made landscapes are fully integrated, creating numerous points of interest and areas of repose. Further, all four parks are linked together with a network of walking paths, expanding their use and enjoyment throughout each season.