Guest Blog: Using 3D Models as a Tool for Public Engagement – Commons Parkade

Marcel Tarnogorski is a recent Masters of Architecture grad from Dal who approached me and offered to make a correct rendering with the actual scale of the proposed Commons garage.  His bio reads that he ‘loves to make parametric design tools that integrate urban, architectural, and financial facets of a project’. 

Marcel has released these images for attributed use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Halifax is wonderful, Halifax is growing, and Haligonians want to have constructive discussions about our civic future. A lack of transparent information, however, can often hamper the conversation. A static render that is carefully crafted to provoke a favourable opinion and technical plans that do nothing to convey the experience of a proposal are not enough to form your own, individual opinion.

A publicly accessible 3D model of a proposal lets us to play with the information, understanding the full impact it will have on the experience of our city. When we are allowed to see the proposal from every angle, we are able to form our own opinions on how the proposal fits into the urban fabric. We can also see how it impacts our day to day life – the walk home from the grocery store, the view from the living room window, the pride we can take in our city.

The model presented here is a step toward the transparency and accessibility needed for civic discussions. The model was traced directly from plans and elevations found in the tender documents issued on January 28th, and are therefore as accurate as possible to what the province is asking to have built on the commons.

Please, download the model here, open it with the desktop version of Google Earth, and play with it. Form your own opinions, invite a friend over to explore the model together, let people know what you think.

For those who do not want to go through the rigamarole of opening the model (anybody have ideas of an easier way to share models?), here are some static renders taken from a variety of angles. There is also a comparison of the widely circulated render, which shows a 5-storey garage, with the tendered proposal, which is a 7-storey garage.

(NOTE: this shows mass (size and shape) but not any architectural finishes or colours that may be in the final construction… it probably won’t be so grey and featureless – Waye)




To be as transparent as possible, I have included my working files for any interested parties to double-check my work. If you find this model to be inaccurate, please do get in touch.

Marcel Tarnogorski

20200129-Summer St Parkade.3dm
The working model, where I traced elements of the tender package.

20200129-Summer St Parkade.skp
Imported into Sketchup to geolocate the model and export to Google Earth

20200129-Summer St Parkade.kmz
This file can be opened in Google Earth (desktop edition) to see the model in its Haligonian context. Open it up, look at it as you like, form your own opinions on the built form.


One comment on “Guest Blog: Using 3D Models as a Tool for Public Engagement – Commons Parkade

  1. […] Tarnogorski who wrote this guest blog with renderings of the old proposal last January sent in new r...

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