Acadia Point

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.

This project was awarded the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects National Award of Merit, the highest honour in residential landscape architecture.


Virginia Burt Designs