Let in the light: Canning architect honoured for Sandy Cove reno

Wendy Elliott
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A Kings County woman’s architectural work is earning applause from her peers.

Canning-area architect Lisa Tondino of Houdinidesign has just won a Lieutenant Governor’s 2013 Citation in Architectural Design Award.

The award recognizes a renovation of the Ritchie family’s residence in Sandy Cove, Digby County. Tondino’s adaption of a barn-like structure transformed it into a two-storey home.Designers Judy Obersi and Alex Bolen collaborated on the award-winning project.

The jurors noted that the renovation was remarkable for its “rich variety of spaces” and the architect’s “clever strategy for accomplishing privacy and light transmission across the ground floor plan.”

Tondino, who lives and works at the Look Off, said she was very happy to learn about the recognition.

“The client (Jenipher Ritchie) was too,” she said.

Since relocating to the Valley from Halifax several years ago, Tondino has become involved with Fieldwood Heritage Society’s restoration of the Dickie Baxter house in Canning. She also sits on the new design committee advising the Town of Wolfville’s community development committee.

Tondino attended McGill University and graduated in 1993 with a graduate degree in environmental design from the Technical University of Nova Scotia.

Houdinidesign is currently designing a small net zero energy home near Kentville. She says she enjoys community projects and finding adaptive reuses for barns and churches. Her firm’s focus is on well-crafted, sustainable residences and small community-based architecture.

Tondino says she finds Kings County a great place to operate and she looks forward to other opportunities in terms of tourism and related industries.

The presentation ceremony and reception for the Design Awards in Architecture will be held later this year at Government House, where Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant, will present the medal and certificates to Tondino and six other award-winning designers.

The Nova Scotia Association of Architects holds the annual architectural design awards competition to recognize outstanding architectural design by its members. This year’s  jury consisted of Christine Macy, Dean of Dalhousie Faculty of Architecture and Planning; along with architects George Cotaras and Jonathan Carmichael. The jurors reviewed 19 entries of outstanding projects for the 2013 design awards.

The awards were first presented in 1990.


Organizations: Fieldwood Heritage Society, Dickie Baxter house, McGill University Technical University of Nova Scotia Government House Nova Scotia Association of Architects Dalhousie Faculty

Geographic location: Canning, Kings, Digby County Halifax Wolfville Kentville

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