MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects - Queen's Marque, a programming of mixed-use to keep the site active 24/7
  1. Home
  2. Award 2023
  3. Mixed Use
  4. Queen's Marque, a programming of mixed-use to keep the site active 24/7

Queen's Marque, a programming of mixed-use to keep the site active 24/7

MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

Mixed Use  /  Completed
MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

Queen’s Marque was born from the developer's desire to build a significant Canadian landmark that would be created by Nova Scotians, for Nova Scotians. The goal was to build a legacy project that would epitomize a new confidence that is emerging in Eastern Canada. Through deliberate planning and sensitive design, Queen’s Marque instills pride in local history and culture, while making a difference in public life for generations to come. It is conceived as a district rather than a building. It is about contributing to the urban fabric more than making architectural objects. The development was designed to enhance the skyline, without overpowering it, to frame views, while creating sheltering courtyards and welcoming public spaces - all appropriate for the context.

Pressing Queen’s Marque’s 107 metre long sandstone building towards Lower Water Street, flanked by the two perpendicular buildings, the design opens up 70% of the site to open public space. This includes ‘The Lost Ship Bosque’, a gallery of maple trees, and the staircase (‘Rise Again’) leading up to the ‘Tidal Beacon’, the most prominent of the complex’s many art installations. Multiple passages through the buildings make the development highly porous to the public, even lending direct access into the water via a staircase (‘Queen’s Landing’) reminiscent of riverside staircases found in Rome to Fiume Tevere, Paris to La Seine, London to the Thames River and Ganges to Varanasi, India.

Queen’s Marque has been designed to meet a LEED Platinum Energy Model. With one of the most efficient and technologically advanced heating and cooling plants in the region, the development saves on cooling costs by using the frigid water of the harbour. Utilizing a seawater loop that extends 50-feet below grade, the building manages free cooling and heating regulation based on the temperatures of the seawater. Other sustainable practices include the integration of green roofing materials and Low-E glass which minimizes solar heat gain of the building. In anticipation of sea level rise, the ground-level of the project has been raised, but not so much as to disengage with the surrounding pedestrian experience.

The design team began by moving the parking underground and developing a programming of mixed-use, including offices, a luxury hotel, shops, restaurants, and rental apartments to keep the site active 24/7. A “U” shaped, tripartite composition abstractly reflects marine forms, inspired by the historic ships that once sailed the Atlantic. Further, a sunken ‘hull’ serves as a metaphor for how the culture can reinvent itself. The configuration of the complex preserves views to the historic citadel, extends the civic grid to the water, repairs and completes the pedestrian boardwalk along the shoreline, establishes a protected micro-climate, and gives Halifax its first public gathering place along the harbour.

Materials speak to the local vernacular: sandstone coalesces with neighbouring institutional buildings; Muntz metal recalls 19th Century hull sheathing; and reclaimed cobblestone paving, hemlock boardwalks, as well as landscaping that reinstates the original shoreline drift – all articulated in a manner that sparks both pride and instills curiosity. Art is integrated into the development through both site-specific installations, exploring the harbour’s history and environmental phenomena.

No comments from the client at this time.


 Armour Group Ltd.
 41800 mq
 Design Lead: Brian MacKay-Lyons
 Project Architect: Shane Andrews
 Armour Group Ltd
 Prime Consultant: FBM Architects, George Cotaras & Wayne Duncan, Landscape Architecture: Fathom Studio and Brackish Design Studio, Structural Engineer: Campbell Comeau Engineering Limited, Mechanical and Electrical Engineer: M + R Engineering
 Nic Lehoux


MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects is based in Halifax and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada with field offices in Oregon, Denver and Boston. The practice works locally and internationally on cultural, academic and residential projects, providing full architectural, interior design and urban design services. In 40 years, the practice has built an international reputation for design excellence confirmed by over 160 awards, including the prestigious 2017 Global Award for Sustainable Architecture; 6 American Institute of Architects National and International Honor Awards for Architecture; 4 Architectural Record Houses Awards; the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Medal in 2015 and the RAIC Firm Award in 2014; 8 Governor General’s Medals; fifteen Lieutenant Governor’s Medals of Excellence; 8 Canadian Architect Awards; and 13 North American Wood Design & Building Awards. In addition, the firm's work has been featured internationally in over 700 publications and 100 exhibitions.


#Mentioned #Copper  #Public  #Canada  #Sandstone  #Sandstone cladding  #MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects  #Halifax 

© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® is a trademark of Monotype ITC Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and which may be registered in certain other jurisdictions.