Queen’s Marque is a 41,800 square-meter mixed-use complex on Halifax’s Waterfront. Designed by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, the idea for the project was born from developer Scott Armour McCrea’s desire to build a Canadian landmark created by Nova Scotians, for Nova Scotians.
The CEO of Armour Group Ltd, a Halifax-based real estate and construction company, aimed to embark on a legacy project that symbolized the growing confidence in Eastern Canada.
As a result, Queen’s Marque aims to instill pride in local history and culture while making a lasting impact on public life for generations to come.
The goal for this landmark, according to Brian MacKay-Lyons, founder of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, was to create a “people place” where the new central square would become the public living room of the city.
Queen’s Marque emphasizes the enhancement of the skyline without overpowering it and the development was designed to frame views, create sheltering courtyards, and establish welcoming public spaces.
The design team began the project by moving parking underground and implementing a mixed-use programming, such as offices, a luxury hotel, shops, restaurants, and rental apartments to maintain site activity 24/7. The complex, which is designed in a “U” shape, reflects marine forms inspired by historic ships. A sunken ‘hull’ also serves as a metaphor for cultural reinvention.
Queen’s Marque is designed to meet a LEED Platinum Energy Model and incorporates one of the most efficient and technologically advanced heating and cooling plants in the region. The development optimizes cooling costs by using the frigid water of the harbor, using a seawater loop that extends 50-feet below grade. Sustainable practices, such as green roofing materials and Low-E glass, minimize the building’s energy costs and carbon footprint.
The ground-level of the project has been raised, in anticipation of sea level rise, and sets a precedent in environmental consideration for future developments of this scale. This elevation is carefully balanced to maintain engagement with the surrounding pedestrian experience, making Queen’s Marque a landmark in both architectural and environmental innovation.
Location: Halifax Waterfront, Nova Scotia, Canada
Completion Date: Spring 2023
Client: Armour Group Limited
Project Size: 41,800 square meters
Developer and Master Builder: Armour Group Limited – Scott Armour McCrea
Design Architects and Urban Design: MacKay-Lyons-Sweetapple Architects
Design Lead: Brian MacKay-Lyons
Project Architect: Shane Andrews
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
Builder: Armour Group Limited in joint venture with Bird Construction
Muir Hotel: Studio Munge
Lobbies, core and residences: MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects
Photography: Nic Lehoux