LeMarchant Residence, Dalhousie University

Halifax, Nova Scotia

In association with: DSRA | Envision Architects
Client: Dalhousie University
Size: 209,000 sq.ft. (19,000 sq.m.)
LEED: Gold (candidate)

Designed by Zeidler in association with DSRA | Envision Architecture in Halifax, the LeMarchant Residence is located in the heart of the Studley Campus at Dalhousie University. Aligning with the university’s intensification strategy and desire for compact urban form, the mixed-use student residence facility accommodates 326 student beds. An atrium space to the east connects the two-storey podium with Memorial Arena. Sculptural skylights bring daylight into the atrium and the multi-faith quiet room. The retail base energizes the five storeys of residence above, and houses university departments such as the Welcome Centre, Recruitment and Enrollment, International and Exchange Services and Black Student Resource Centre. Our “three-finger” design, with two rooftop courtyards between the three wings, maximizes the number of beds and access to daylight. Facing the courtyards is a two-storey common room on each floor, which includes a kitchenette and living room. A mix of apartment-style accommodations provides flexible and welcoming spaces, as well as fully-accessible, single-room units on each floor. 

The design responds to Dal’s master plan directions of transparency and connectivity, integrating with its surroundings through a playful, modern reinterpretation of materials and colours and complementing the historical stone-clad buildings on the upper part of campus. Targeting LEED® Gold, the design includes sustainable initiatives such as increased natural light, operable windows and rooftop landscaped courtyards. 

“LeMarchant Place,” as it’s dubbed on campus, is a comfortable space that unites key campus services in one central location to better assist students with their health and wellness needs. The mixed-use building is an example of a true vertical neighbourhood: the residence is an elevated village above a “town” centre, where separate entrances and identities for the multiple users are clear.