Thaddeus Holownia Commissioned to Create Place-Specific Art for Queen’s Marque Installation

Photo credit: Denis Duquette

Famed local photographer selected for his ability to capture the natural world

Halifax, Nova Scotia – July 17, 2018 – The Armour Group Limited (The Armour Group) has selected celebrated national photographer, Thaddeus Holownia, to create an original work of art to be integrated into the Queen’s Marque façade.

Holownia was engaged due to his evocative body of art which reflects the environment and the interaction between natural and unnatural elements through time; themes which inspired the shapes and design of Queen’s Marque.

“Thaddeus’ photographic artwork is the natural choice for this monumental, contemporary ‘shroud’ at the foot of George Street,” said Brian MacKay-Lyons, Partner, MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited. “The piece will introduce the public to the waterfront and express the developer’s ambition for the public life of our city.”

After exploring the ethos and idea behind Queen’s Marque, Holownia selected an aquatic theme as his subject for the piece.

“Water represents itself in the minutia; a drop in its state is as large as an entire ocean, all at once,” said Thaddeus Holownia, Photographer.

The original photograph will be translated into an abstraction and embedded into the perforated metal panels applied as an overlay on the Queen’s Marque’s façade. The result will be an abstract mural depicted through shadow and colour within the copper-infused metal. A series of images from this commission will also be displayed throughout the Queen’s Marque district, creating a cultural tableau that speaks to the power of place.

“The reason aquatic images are so profound is the macro of water is like looking at the whole ocean. There is an infinity to it. Whether looking at the ocean from an airplane, or staring at a puddle in the wind, the effects of water are common. By bringing the image to ground level and at a human scale, we are subconsciously asking someone to be sensitive to something that is so common,” commented Holownia.

This is the first of several commissions of original works planned for the Queen’s Marque district to be created by many different artists representing varying genres. The intent of developing and integrating works of art at Queen’s Marque is to cultivate a layered and meaningful city centre.

Queen’s Marque Selects Wallace Quarries Ltd. for Historically Relevant Facade

One of the largest purchases of Nova Scotian sandstone in the last century

The Armour Group Limited (The Armour Group) is pleased to have secured locally quarried sandstone from Wallace Quarries Ltd. (Wallace Quarries) to be used as the main cladding material for the Queen’s Marque development now taking shape on the Halifax Waterfront.

This substantial procurement makes it the largest order for Nova Scotia sandstone in over 50 years. Wallace Quarries dates back to 1863 and represents an important legacy of locally founded, owned and operated Nova Scotian business. The choice of Wallace sandstone demonstrates Queen’s Marque’s commitment to being shaped by Nova Scotia’s past, present and future by incorporating the region’s natural resources in a respectful and artful manner.

The unpretentious, yet beautiful, Wallace sandstone will suggest the rugged and resilient shoreline that inspired the architecture of Queen’s Marque. The colour and texture of the material is a nod to notable historic buildings in Halifax such as the Dominion Building, Halifax City Hall, and the Nova Scotia Legislature.

Intentionally selecting a stone indicative of Nova Scotian terrain allows Queen’s Marque to positively impact the region and local businesses. Requiring over nine months and 10 people to quarry from a seaside site in Wallace, NS, the stone will help build a form that is born of this place. Queen’s Marque is dedicated to being a deeply local endeavor from initial concept through to completion.

“We at Wallace Quarries are very excited to have been chosen as sandstone supplier for this major and prestigious project in our home province of Nova Scotia,” said Tom Flynn, Owner, Wallace Quarries.

Queen’s Marque will represent an almost $200 million private investment in Nova Scotia by The Armour Group with a target completion date in 2020.

Queen’s Marque Welcomes Stewart McKelvey

The Armour Group Limited (The Armour Group) is pleased to announce Stewart McKelvey as the first commercial tenant in Queen’s Marque, a district shaped by the distinct character and experience of this province and currently being constructed on the Halifax Waterfront.

As Atlantic Canada’s preeminent regional law firm, Stewart McKelvey is a natural fit for a project striving to be a forward-looking architectural representation of Nova Scotia. The union will positively impact the region and local businesses and help to shape the waterfront as a bustling public gathering space.
The Queen’s Marque District includes areas to work, live, eat, stay and explore. Food and beverage leasing is actively taking place, with an emphasis on local providers looking to create an experience ‘Born of This Place’.

“Queen’s Marque is proud to have been chosen by Stewart McKelvey as its new Nova Scotian home,” said Scott Armour McCrea, CEO of The Armour Group Limited. “We are looking to create a deeply local place with a combination of regional integrity and vision, two values that we believe are also fundamental to Stewart McKelvey. Like our firm, Stewart McKelvey has an ongoing dedication to furthering Atlantic Canada.”

Lydia Bugden, CEO and Managing Partner of Stewart McKelvey, noted the long history of both firms as significant contributors to the region and the project as heralding Atlantic Canadian excellence, saying, “This was a significant decision for our firm. We look forward to sharing our new, creative environment with clients and staff. Queen’s Marque allows us to pay homage to the past while embracing our future – a collaborative and innovative work space on the waterfront.”

The project offers the law firm an efficient and eco-conscious environment with a gentle footprint. By design, Queen’s Marque is strategically placed to maximize solar heating and minimize summer heat gain. The primary heating and cooling systems for the district utilize chilled beam and heat pump technology, where water is drawn in from the harbour and circulated throughout, creating a comfortable environment while dramatically lowering energy usage and costs.

Stewart McKelvey is the first tenant announced for Queen’s Marque and will occupy almost 75% of the office component of the project. Queen’s Marque will represent an almost $200 million private investment in Nova Scotia by The Armour Group with an overall target completion date in 2020.

Queen’s Marque Update

We are pleased to announce that the Design Review Committee has just approved the Queen’s Marque development.

Crews are working hard to prepare the site for construction. Temporary sidewalk closures are expected over the coming weeks.  Construction timelines will be posted shortly.

The Halifax Boardwalk is still open to the public and the Waterfront is open for business.



Queen’s Marque Installs Reef Balls to Foster Healthy Ecosystem

Queen’s Marque has released five reef balls into the Halifax Harbour as a preemptive measurement to offset any potential impact construction could have on the harbour. Reef balls, designed by The Reef Ball Foundation and manufactured by Nova Scotia’s Clean Foundation, create and restore marine habitat by fostering the growth of an ecosystem that supports fish and shellfish populations.

When deployed into Nova Scotia’s marine environment, reef balls support the growth of algae, which is a foundational piece in the ecosystem, and provide shelter and protection to fish species. They also serve as habitats for spawning and reproduction, which aides in maintaining a healthy marine population. The reef balls selected by the Queen’s Marque design team do not leach toxins into the water and do not contain biologically active compounds.

As part of the project the Clean Foundation has installed five reef balls on behalf of Queen’s Marque, which equates to 900 square metres of marine habitat.

In addition to improving local harbour conditions, the reef ball initiative helps raise public awareness of Nova Scotia’s ocean environment. The goals of the Clean Foundation align with Queen’s Marque, as planning for a Gentle Footprint and having the utmost respect for Nova Scotia waters is a fundamental value of the project.


Stacked ‘pallet style’ reef balls awaiting installation. The holes in the reef balls provide shelter and protection for species like lobster and crab. (Credit: Clean Foundation).