September 14, 2014
Almost overnight, there is a new way to begin a climb up the hill to the Halifax Citadel. Teaming up with Devin McCarthy (with DSRA Architecture), OPEN member Brad co-lead a team of Dalhousie University’s School of Architecture students participating in a design-build course to install a temporary staircase at the corner of Brunswick Street and Sackville Street, a popular entry point to this National Historic Site.
The temporary staircase help remedy eroded conditions at the entry of the footpath, in addition to providing a welcoming passage for visitors to gather, ascend and descend the hill. The installation is a studied critique of the informal pedestrian access points to one of Halifax’s important sites.
Inspired by the relatively recent movement of citizen-led built interventions, this course explores the notion of tactical urbanism through the lens of design and architecture. The built work connects the city sidewalk to a pathway already impressed into the slope of the hill. The structure has been built off-site (utilizing the tools and processes at Dalhousie’s School of Architecture) and was installed over a two-day intensive period with minimal disturbance on site.
The success of HFX Tactical Architecture course was predicated by a collective effort that brought together undergraduate and graduate students from the School of Architecture, as well as partners from both Parks Canada and the City of Halifax.
“Parks Canada is pleased to support the work of one of the Dalhousie University Free Lab courses this summer, by participating in a student project at the base of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site aimed at improving a popular access path to the site,” said Dave Danskin, Visitor Experience Manager for the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. “We look forward to hearing about this new approach from site visitors.”
Originally meant to be a temporary pop-up work, the project has since been fully accepted into the working urban fabric of the city and will remain in place for until 2015. HFX Tactical Architecture has continued to spark conversation within the Halifax community around the design of city infrastructure, and the potential for new types of activity along the edges of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.
Follow the project on Twitter: @HFXtacticalArch
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