The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (AGNS) has selected the team of KPMB Architects with Omar Gandhi Architect, Jordan Bennett Studio, Elder Lorraine Whitman of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Public Works and Transsolar as winners of the international design competition for the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Waterfront Arts District.

“Congratulations to the winning design team on their outstanding proposal for a new iconic Art Gallery of Nova Scotia,” said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. “As a province, we recognize the importance of inclusive public spaces connected to the arts.  Art and culture help tell the story of who we are as Nova Scotians. The new gallery will reflect the importance of art and culture to our lives, our communities and our economy.

The new gallery and arts district, located on the Salter Block of the Halifax Waterfront, is expected to be a transformative destination. It will inspire and celebrate creativity and imagination, but also challenge the status quo and reshape institutional values.

“This transformational project will bring together all members of our community to share unique experiences, and build stronger, more inclusive relationships through art,” said Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “The Government of Canada congratulates the successful design team and wishes to thank all applicants for their thoughtful and unique designs.”

The winning design team’s submission outlines a new AGNS that offers an array of accessible experiences, and at all scales. It embodies a vision of a place for all seasons, rooted in sustainability, connecting the city at the water. It will be a gathering space to unite for art, learning and community.

The landscape design expands and contracts, flexing seasonally from the human-scaled, intimate gathering spaces at the heart of Salter Block to a large gathering space at the scale of K’jipuktuk, the Great Harbour.

The building design features a striking peaked hat shape at the entrance, an iconic shape which a symbol of the strength, wisdom, love and power that women hold within Mi’kmaw communities.

“We proposed a sinuous building surrounded by regenerative gardens that will signal a radical new beginning for the AGNS, the waterfront, Nova Scotians, and the world of art,” said Bruce Kuwabara, founding partner, KPMB Architects. “We want people to experience art in a great setting. We want people to feel welcome and at home. We believe we have created a place for everyone.”

The gallery and the province will work with the team and the public to shape a final design that is a meaningful and accurate reflection of the diversity of Nova Scotian communities. Formal public engagement will begin in early 2021.

The Government of Canada announced an investment of $30 million for this project through the New Building Canada Fund-Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component, National and Regional Projects. The Province of Nova Scotia has also committed $70 million. In addition, the Sobey Foundation has announced a $10 million gift.

To view the conceptual design, click here.

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