Ask architect Omar Gandhi about the driving force behind his winning infrastructure project at Nova Scotia’s Peggy’s Cove and you’ll receive a one-word answer: respect. It couldn’t be a more apt descriptor for this thoughtful intervention, which carefully considers its impact on both the landscape and its community.
The project presented an exceptional challenge: how to improve the accessibility of the iconic Canadian setting without imposing on the rugged East Coast topography or the nearby village’s characteristic charm. Gandhi’s undulating walkway — clad in eastern white cedar, with open netted guardrails that offer unobstructed views of the seaside — completely transforms the visitor experience on the rocky shore, once an unsuitable destination for those with mobility challenges. Seating throughout the smooth promenade allows visitors to take in the sights at their own pace and enjoy the new green spaces, which incorporate native species; the public washrooms have also been upgraded to code. With these changes, Peggy’s Cove is now accessible to all for the first time.
With climate change front of mind, the firm also undertook extensive wave modelling, considering the effects of rising sea levels to determine the optimal placement and elevation for the viewing platform. Intentionally nestled within the landscape, the structure is designed to fade into the background so as not to interfere with the site’s stunning vistas. Approached with remarkable restraint and sensitivity, the structure is so well-integrated that it appears to have always been there. And, with a design that can withstand harsh coastal conditions, the hope is that it will remain for decades to come.
Team Omar Gandhi with Jordan Rice, Kelly Cameron, Kaitlin Wierstra, Jeff Shaw, Justin Cormier, Chad Jamieson and Kristi MacDonald (Omar Gandhi Architect); Harbourside Engineering, Englobe, Trim Landscaping, EDM Planning Services, Thompson Conn Limited, Gemtech Consulting Engineers & Scientists, Tate Engineering, Boreas Heritage, Greytop Construction and CBCL Engineering
Omar Gandhi’s Peggy’s Cove Infrastructure Improvement Strategy carefully considers its impact on both the landscape and its community.