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Architectural Spotlight

The Rebirth of Fenwick Tower

Fenwick tower is getting an overhaul, the structure has been a part of the Halifax skyline since 1971 when the vision was to live in airy luxury, but the developer ran into financial difficulties.  A tower inspired by Le Corbusier that became the punching bag for the argument against development and intensification in downtown Halifax.

The website of its new owner Templeton Properties tells the tale:

Fenwick Tower is like no other building in Halifax.  The history of the building has become so rich that the building itself is talked about like an old friend. Fenwick Tower is an icon in the true sense of the word. Like many icons, the lines between truth and fiction have blurred to create a legendary story that is bigger than life and becomes a proud part of your living experience.

A web cam, a Wikipedia page, and being the subject of many news stories, Fenwick is a modern piece of Halifax’s history and culture.

From when the doors opened in 1971, the legend of Fenwick began.  Originally designed as a luxury apartment building, the developer faced financial problems halfway into the project and was forced to sell.

Dalhousie University purchased the incomplete building, finished the development, and offered Fenwick Place apartments to mature and married students, a better alternative to dorm-living. For 38 years Fenwick served as home to thousands of students, many who have moved on to become the leaders in our community.

n 2009 Templeton Properties purchased Fenwick Place and, following the community’s lead, officially re-named it Fenwick Tower.  Finally, Fenwick Tower has come full circle and will be open to the public as it was originally intended.

The developer used dotmocracy which bills itself as a large group decision making  process, and it looks like it turned out some pretty great ideas.

Dotmocracy is an established facilitation method for collecting and prioritizing ideas among a large number of people.

It is an equal opportunity & participatory group decision-making process.

Participants write down ideas and apply dots under each idea to show which ones they prefer. The final result is a graph-like visual representation of the group’s collective preferences.

We’re pleased to share our vision for Fenwick Tower, and exciting plans for the future redevelopment of this landmark structure in the heart of Halifax.

Since its opening in 1971, Fenwick Tower has gained an iconic status as the tallest building within Atlantic Canada. With this redevelopment initiative we will transition both the existing tower and adjacent lands to align with the future development standards of the Halifax Regional Municipality. The Result being a revitalised urban community.

The design of the new tower adds a glass shell to the existing tower and fills in the property at street level with an addition that reshapes the building address Fenwick Street instead of standing back from it the way that it does now. There will be two additional 10 and 8 story buildings added so to give the building a less sudden effect on the skyline and intensify the property. Another major design element is the new pedestrian corridor that meanders around the bases of the three buildings creating a meandering walkway that encourages you to explore. Restaurants, shops and public art. The vision is for a network of local businesses and to connect the neighbourhoods that encircle the property.

Discussion

One Response to “The Rebirth of Fenwick Tower”

  1. I nominate techcrunch for the 2009 Squishies award! – The harder I work the luckier I get. Samuel Goldwyn 1882 1974 Porn and Small Business Security Systems

    Posted by Kieran Schuyleman | 26/11/2010, 3:30 am

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