NSCAD occupies three unique campuses in downtown Halifax: 200,000 square feet of heritage space on two sites in the heart of downtown Halifax, and 70,000 square feet at our new waterfront Port Campus.
Our Fountain campus is housed in the Historic Properties district, adjacent to the scenic boardwalks of Halifax Harbour. The Victorian terrace-style campus – the only one of its kind in North America – is an interconnected row of 19 former merchant shops and warehouses bounded by Hollis and Duke Streets and the cobblestone Granville pedestrian terrace. Full of character and many mysterious nooks and stairwells, the interiors are open, rugged and hospitable, and have adapted well to varied needs.
Download a map of the Fountain Campus (PDF)
In 2003, NSCAD added another historic gem to its campus: the Academy Building at 1649 Brunswick St., a short walk from the main campus. Built in 1878, the former high school houses Canada’s first degree-granting film school east of Montreal. The building occupies 25,000 square feet and features distinctive dormer windows and granite accents. Studios at the main campus and the Academy are accessible to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Anchoring the new arts and culture district, the Port Campus is a successful brown-field development that incorporates most of the original warehouse structure while housing safe and efficient teaching spaces. Students, artists and the community at large are benefitting from the experience and precision of this modern industrial setting.
A dramatic symbol of NSCAD’s significant presence in the community, the 70,000 square foot NSCAD Port Campus features 18 foot ceilings, generous natural lighting, and houses many of the university’s more industrial program components, including sculpture studios, a wood shop, metal shop, foundry, product design and ceramics studios.
The uninterrupted view of the harbour from its second floor studios through 172 feet of glass curtain wall is without doubt the best in Halifax.
Approximately 60 percent of the Port construction budget was mechanical and electrical providing state of the art air exchange ventilation within this industrial teaching facility. This is a dramatic improvement in air quality and industrial emission output from our previous location in the downtown Fountain Campus.
The ceramics facility is now the most sophisticated in the country with “green” kilns that are designed to economize on fuel and provide students with industrial-style control over their processes. NSCAD is the first art institution in Canada to house the new Blaauw kilns. Insulators, made possible by NASA research, are the basis for heat retention, while super-efficient burners quickly propel the kiln to high temperatures. These kilns recoup much of the excess heat from firing.
The new facility includes a glaze laboratory, a glaze application room, and new electric wheels. In addition, there is a permanent plaster mold-making space, featuring slip casting machines, a dust extraction system, and digital scales. The glaze application area contains an 8ft spray booth that will allow for large-scale ceramic sculpture. Once students complete glazing, they are able to roll their newly created sculptures directly into the kiln on the movable kiln floor allowing for architectural scale pieces.
Featuring generous hallways and elevators, the building is well suited to the specific needs of art, craft and design education, providing easy transportation of bulk materials, equipment and works in progress. The ventilation system was also designed purposely for environments that work with materials such as wood, plastics, stone, clay and metal.
The building’s open concept and fluid design allows extraordinary flexibility in space allocation with mobile internal walls allowing for multiple small classroom areas to be converted into one large space suitable for major exhibitions or events. NSCAD recently hosted NEOCRAFT, a 300 delegate conference in this space with environmental awareness amongst attendees from thirteen countries.