Description of Historic Place
Building S-27 is a large, solid, symmetrical, flat-roofed, red-brick building, composed of three parallel wings connected along a central axis. The two-storey front wing contains the main entrance and common rooms, and the remainder of the building is three storeys high and houses the officers' rooms. Conservatively modern, the massing of the building has an overall horizontal emphasis and features Classical elements such as a monumental entrance, regularly spaced sash windows, a simple cornice which unifies the building, and heavy, smooth, concrete mouldings around the windows and entrances. Building S-27 is located along the southeast perimeter of CFB Halifax, Stadacona, in an area of the base characterized by a diverse mixture of buildings. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building S-27 has been designated Recognized because of its historical associations, architectural qualities, and environmental significance.
Building S-27 is a good example of the national historical theme of the defense of Canada, and as such illustrates the post Second World War modernization of Canadian military facilities. In order to attract high caliber recruits to its larger permanent force, the military commissioned new buildings to replace the temporary wartime structures on the former HMCS Stadacona such as Building S-27, to provide higher quality permanent living quarters and mess facilities. The building also reflects the period of redevelopment of HMCS Stadacona after the Second World War, which saw the construction of larger scale military residences to replace earlier temporary housing that occupied the former residential neighbourhood.
Building S-27 is a very good example of a modern institutional building. The design successfully blends the formal, public functions and support spaces for the mess in the front portion of the building with a large residential wing capable of housing 150 officers to the rear. The formal, symmetrical composition of the front portion of the building features Classical stylized features such as a projecting central entry, round end elevations, and formal interior spaces, all of which distinguish it from the more utilitarian H-shaped residential wing at the rear of the building. The high level of craftsmanship and the use of quality materials are evident in the exterior brickwork and concrete detailing, as well as in the interior oval foyer, sweeping stairway and public rooms of the front wing.
Building S-27 is compatible with the mixed character of the southeast perimeter of CFB Halifax, Stadacona in part because of its formal architectural style, which reflects the character of the base, and in part because of its scale, horizontal massing and materials, which are in keeping with the smaller, nearby residential buildings. Building S-27 is well known to the residents of the base because of its formal character and the social role of the building's mess.
Laurie Smith, Building S-27, CFB Halifax, Stadacona, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 01-125.
Building S-27, CFB Halifax, Stadacona, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Heritage Character Statement 01-125.
The following character-defining elements of the Building S-27 should be respected, for example:
The blend of modern and classically-derived features, successful functional plan, and high level of craftsmanship and quality materials, are manifested in:
-the overall horizontality of the building's massing, emphasized by the flat roof and cornice;
-the classically inspired composition of the front portion of the building which consists of a rectangular plan
with rounded end elevations and circular projecting entry, well-defined base and cornice lines, and
symmetrical window openings;
-the greater emphasis on the first floor or `piano nobile' as evidenced by the larger windows;
-the greater ornamental detail which characterizes the public, two-storey front portion of the building as
compared to the three-storey residential rear wing;
-the functional plan which successfully accommodates the formal functions in the larger, more ornate public
rooms, and the more utilitarian spaces in the residential wing;
-the high quality materials and skilful craftsmanship exhibited by the exterior brickwork and the concrete
detailing found on the window surrounds, the projecting rounded window above the entryway, the columns
and the mouldings; and,
-the interior finishes found in the oval foyer, sweeping stairway and other public rooms of the front wing, such
as the terrazzo and hardwood flooring, wood paneling and marble fireplace surrounds.
The building is compatible with the mixed character of its neighbourhood, as evidenced in:
-its scale and horizontal massing which is in keeping with the surrounding residential buildings.