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pool pavilion on the halifax common

The Pool Pavilion for the Halifax Common has been designed as a 'park building' that supports a myriad of park activities. As the city fabric of Halifax becomes progressively denser this aquatic pavilion creates opportunities for those who may not have regular access to bathing at a beach or lake. The Pavilion also houses a community kitchen, barrier free washrooms and a youth performance space that can be set up either indoors or outside, adjacent an existing skateboard park.


The primary entrances, to both the community and the seasonal change rooms, are through a breezeway at the crossroads of pedestrian and multi use trails.  This centralized entrance brings day and nighttime activity to the heart of the Common. The building footprint has been minimized to preserve precious park space. A tree grove is created south of the building with abundant trees and seating. The splash pad is the centrepiece of this space and has been re imagined as a series of illuminated water jets with variable flow patterns engaging to the young and old alike.


Every area of the Pavilion is fully accessible, with a sloped, beach-style pool entry, a barrier free lift to allow safe pool access for users of all abilities, universal (gender neutral) change rooms and washrooms. Large overhangs provide shade and shelter for pool users, summer camp groups and park patrons.


The building uses nail-laminated timber (NLT) for its primary roof structure. Constructed from lumber placed on its edge and mechanically fastened together, NLT involves minimal waste, is fire resistant, and is very carbon-efficient when compared to other roof deck systems. It requires little maintenance, which is aimed at reducing operating costs over time.  The use of eastern white cedar wood, used both inside and outside, is an important aspect of the park-like spirit of the facility.


The project is targeting net zero through the use of solar photovoltaic panels- to help reduce energy consumption- a very tight insulated building envelope, and attention to construction detailing of all connections..

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Photographs: Maxime Brouillet

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