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Halifax Transition House Association

The Bryony House project is a blend of residential building programming in its construction type and basic functions, and institutional programming in its provision of spaces for dedicated and secured services administered by the Halifax Housing Association (HTHA). This modern facility combines the utility and economy of a wood-framed building with state-of-the-art engineering systems to provide spaces that are both secure and comfortable. 

 

This building is unique in the population it serves: women and children escaping trauma and abuse. The project team prioritized development of spaces that would support these individuals’ healing. Within Bryony House, there is a variety of experiential opportunities offered to residents. There are spaces for congregating and social interaction as well as, critically, places for individuals and their children to go for privacy and sanctuary. The layout of the bedrooms for the women are organized in an innovative way. Grouped in small 2-3 room clusters, they allow women to keep their children close by while single residents can have social connections with their neighbors should they choose.

 

Bryony House also includes several other programmatic elements such as a large resident kitchen (for social cooking and meal preparation), a large dining room, a community outreach kitchen and activity space to offer cooking classes and other neighborhood events, outreach support rooms, and a small chapel. All of these services, along with the building itself, are fully accessible, with special emphasis on providing barrier-free access above and beyond the minimum standards required by the national and provincial codes.

 

TEAL’s open and honest communications style and willingness to engage frequently with the multiple stakeholders of this project was key to its success. Extra care was taken to keep the client informed at all stages and continued client education maintained a positive project environment that carried across all disciplines. TEAL supported the client team to ensure multiple funding options were explored and that funding applications were submitted correctly and in a timely manner. Much of the funding for this project was provided by Housing Nova Scotia and CMHC.

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