Texpark – Artisan Residence
M1 Design Studio – Dalhousie University
Professor: John Crace
The Texpark complex was designed to consolidate the artistic energy of the city, as well as extending the artistic and pedestrian energy on Granville road. By creating a second node of activity on Granville’s south end, the urban design strategy suggested would promote an expansion of Granville, thus creating a very distinct centre of activity in the downtown core. Wrapped around a central urban court, the housing sits atop 2 layers of activity. Included on these floors are a bowling alley, bookstore, art gallery, cafe and bicycle parking lots. As well, both arms of the building, (the long-term and short-term housing arms), are loaded with classrooms.
The form of the new Texpark takes its massing directly from the old one. The form was then manipulated based on REAL environmental and programmatic needs. As a result, the form of the building becomes a wrapping swirl of program, opening its mouth toward the sun. The internal court is an escape as well as the primary portal for the buildings occupants, as well as an urban retreat for interested pedestrians. All of the building’s principal circulation derives from the internal court, leaving the exterior blank, gray and mysterious, a language of austerity. A series of LEED suggestions were used in order to maintain an ethical approach towards the design.