Last July I spent a joyful morning walking in downtown Dartmouth (maybe I’ll show you more later). Towards the end of my ramble I visited the World Peace Pavilion in Ferry Terminal Park (hope there wasn’t a naming competition for the park).
The Pavilion was created to house material collected from around the world by a youth group and site was opened during the G7 Summit in 1995.
I had not visited the Pavilion for many years and was pleased at how well the architecture had held up. It is a powerful site with a panoramic view of Halifax and the Harbour. Concrete and steel define a pyramid that is incomplete. Following a path you pass through points of compression into an open air, enclosed space with stepped bleachers facing a long window of show case. The path continues out the other side and you are in the peaceful park again with a big view.
I’m not a huge fan of the content of the pavilion but I do feel that the message is very well served by the architecture. So it was interesting to notice on Twitter and Facebook this morning that a bunch of folks really are not fond of the structure. Apparently maintenance must have declined since I saw it too.
I suspect it’s a concept that needs to be in a busier traffic area with a bunch of programming to really give it life. The architect was the thoughtful Bob Parker (who also happened to design the Age of Sail Museum I mentioned yesterday). You can see his plans and elevations here.
My favourite piece in the collection is a fragment of the Berlin Wall with some original stenciling.
So if you have never visited at the Pavilion add it to your summer list. Take a moment to sit and contemplate. We are not always well served by our public memorials . I think this is an exception. Give peace a chance.