Here is some information about us, our approach, and building design philosophy.
About Vincent den Hartog, Architect
Vincent graduated from McGill University’s School of Architecture in 1987. From there, he received the coveted Dunlop Travelling Scholarship with which he had chosen to further his learning by studying the urban fabric of Munich, Germany.
Upon returning to Montreal, he worked for three firms over a decade on a variety of projects encompassing private residences, commercial, corporate, and institutional design.
In 1997, Vincent moved to the scenic Annapolis Valley to enjoy a simpler, cleaner lifestyle in a rural setting. Here, he established his own architectural design firm, whose focus has been creating unique and beautiful private homes, and designing small commercial and institutional projects in rural communities throughout Nova Scotia.
We are client focused. We listen to our clients first to fully appreciate their goals, aspirations, likes and dislikes, and their functional needs for now and the future. We take the time to understand the context of the project, whether it’s the natural environment or the surrounding architecture. Only then do we begin the process of designing a structure that responds fully to a client’s needs and preferences.
Our designs are fully intended to endure a long and useful existence, and we pay particular attention to the “poetry” of a home: not merely the function, but the way in which you will experience your home or structure. We consider how it will sit in the landscape, how sunlight illuminates the various spaces within, and what views are afforded from different areas inside.
First, the building should be both functional and beautiful, so that it will be treasured and well looked after into the future. Well-conceived buildings make sustainable use of materials, and are designed so that they can be entirely dismantled and recycled. We use durable materials that offer longevity to a structure.
Secondly, it’s all about energy. Assuming a building will have a long life time, it will use far more operating energy than the embodied energy in its materials. We concentrate on designing our buildings to be energy efficient. Our most recently designed homes have all achieved Energuide 80 to 87. Our goal is to create buildings that will be net zero energy consumers. By definition, these use no non-renewable energy sources. Increasingly, clients are becoming interested in this approach. The capital cost is a little higher than today’s typical construction cost, however, the savings come from having no utility bills!
We encourage the use of locally available products and services in our designs where possible. This promotes environmental and social sustainability.