Author(s): Robert McCarter
MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, the influential and award-winning firm based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, have an international reputation. Producing a wide range of projects both in Canada and further afield, they work in a sophisticated modern vernacular idiom, drawing inspiration from a rich local heritage of building types and reinterpreting them according to the best practices of 21st-century architecture. It is above all for their dignified and beautiful houses perched on the wild, rocky coasts of Nova Scotia that the firm is recognized. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this remarkable body of work is based around a number of plan types that answer to the particular local climate: open to the sun but sheltered from the winds, and built using traditional materials that are allowed to weather, these dwellings embody the architects' engagement with their unique surroundings and material culture. This new monograph covers MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects' complete work. Introductions by renowned architectural writers set the scene, while individual projects are illustrated through evocative photographs and detailed plans and drawings. What emerges is a celebration of an architecture that is both practical and deeply poetic.