Award of Excellence
Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, 2015
Located an hour south of Halifax on the Aspotogan Peninsula, this 20-acre headland was formerly home to Canada’s last whaling station—spectacular in its setting, gruesome in its purpose. Completely re-imagined and restored, Acadia Point is now the summer retreat of an urban couple.
To ensure a slow, immersive experience of the site, an entry sequence was carefully orchestrated, referencing Japanese principles of miegakure (“hide and reveal”). A long gravel road winds through mossy forest, views of surrounding waters intentionally obscured. Walking toward the house along a heavily planted and deliberately narrow path, ocean sounds and smells tantalize. At the top of the front steps, the breezeway opens onto a stunning panorama of sea, rocks, and windswept spruce, the unexpected “reveal” reached.
Down wide stone steps and enclosed by the L-shaped house, the organic, slate terrace was placed just above sea-level, offering closer perspectives on wind, waves, sun, and moon. On the east side of the house, a planted deck leads to the wild Atlantic side. One sheltered, one exposed, each increases the sense nature’s duality. A contemporary effect is achieved through the use of restrained woodwork, concrete, and untreated raw finishes, uniting landscape and architecture. Raw beauty is restored.