James Kerr House & PropertiesBarrington and Green Streets, Halifax, Nova Scotia. (1872)
Located in an interesting residential neighbourhood with mixed cultural elements and industrial / commercial uses, this project involved the rehabilitation of James Kerr's 3 former homes for new uses; the rehabilitation of the streetscape; and the integration of landscaping on limited sites.
The key design issues included changing the use of the buildings to provide a beautiful restored home in the 1872 Victorian house, and a contemporary architectural office for the owners; linking buildings and creating separate access to the house, apartments and commercial units; and maintaining and restoring traditional exterior detailing.
Also influencing the design were the constraints of lot sizes, side and front yards, and encroachments which ere especially restrictive to the exchange of use. The city bylaw limited renovations to no increase in volume, except stairs, and bays etc. Lack of sound foundations, rot and deterioration from 25 years of neglect also restricted reconstruction possibilities.
Six weeks of plaster restoration, light fixture restoration, and brick, stone, and wood beam elements in each unit incorporate special and unique architectural features. The office space was opened up and fitted out with modern interpretations of traditional elements to create a modern interior that respected the history of the building using rough construction materials for screens and a tower skylight (which provided indirect light to a computer terminal).
The Rehabilitation of the James Kerr Properties received an Honourable Mention in the lieutenant Governor's Design Awards for Architecture in 1994. The 1872 James Kerr Victorian home received and Honourable Mention in the 1993 Nova Scotia home Awards program.
Project dates: 1990-93
Estimated cost: $750,000