HFX Tactical Architecture

#HFX Tactical Architecture II

November 7, 2015

There is now a new way to experience the Halifax Waterfront. Dalhousie University’s School of Architecture students participating in a design-build course will be installing a series of pop-up site furniture along a strategic portion of the Halifax waterfront near Bishop’s Landing, a popular view point along the water’s edge.


“This installation will activate a portion of the Halifax waterfront boardwalk by creating an active social space for gathering, play, and relaxation; while simultaneously fostering a meaningful connection to place and views to the city’s working harbour,” said Brad Pickard, a co-instructor for the design-build course at Dalhousie University.


Inspired by the shape of stacked wooden lobster traps and shipping crate construction, the installation’s modular design will create a series of social zones, designed to maximize the public amenity on the extended boardwalk near the popular Sands at Salter. Completely built off-site (utilizing the tools and processes at Dalhousie’s School of Architecture) and installed in just two days, the installation of the furniture is expected to be open to the public on July 31st, 2015.


Brad Pickard (with OPEN) and Devin McCarthy (with DSRA Architecture) are pleased to be co-instructors for one of 8 Dalhousie University Free Lab courses this year. The course, called HFX Tactical Architecture, follows last year’s installation on Citadel Hill and brings together undergraduate and graduate students from the School of Architecture, as well as partners from Waterfront Development.


“It’s inspiring to see talented students look at an open space, build on an idea and make a big impact ” said Colin MacLean, President and CEO, Waterfront Development. “With this new way to connect with the Halifax Waterfront, people can tailor their experience here next to the ocean.”  MacLean also notes the Dalhousie team worked closely with School of Architecture and Planning alumnus TJ Maguire, who is an Urban Designer at Waterfront Development.


HFX Tactical Architecture draws inspiration from the relatively recent movement of citizen-led built interventions, more popularly known as “tactical urbanism,” which have sprung up across North America to improve local streets, neighbourhoods and urban spaces. This course explores the notion of tactical urbanism through the lens of design and architecture.


While the intent of the installation is that it be enjoyed by citizens and visitors to Halifax for many years to come, the HFX Tactical Architecture team hopes the completed project will also spark future conversations within the Halifax community around the design of city infrastructure and public spaces.


Follow the project on Twitter: @HFXtacticalArch


HFX Tactical Architecture - Construction Elements

Construction Elements

HFX Tactical Architecture - Pop-up Installation

Pop-up Installation (image: tjm.ca)

HFX Tactical Architecture - night

HFX Tactical Architecture Lighting (image: tjm.ca)

HFX Tactical Architecture - Activated

HFX Tactical Architecture Activated (image: tjm.ca)

HFX Tactical Architecture - Play

HFX Tactical Architecture Play