Back Bay Joinery Shops / Peter Braithwaite Studio

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Back Bay Joinery Shops / Peter Braithwaite Studio

Project: Back Bay Joinery Shops
Architecture and Design: Peter Braithwaite Studio Ltd.
Construction: Peter Braithwaite Studio Ltd.
Project Team: Peter Braithwaite, Ryan McNeill, Tom Lutes, Devin Harper, Ben Biggley, John Marshall
Drawings and Models: Matt Gillingham
Location: Terence Bay, Nova Scotia
Year 2019
Photographs: Julian Parkinson, Peter Braithwaite, Jason Petersson
Text by Peter Braithwaite

The Back Bay Joinery Shops are located in the culturally rich community of Terence Bay, Nova Scotia. The shops provide a creative space for our firm to test, develop and construct design ideas. In collaboration with our design team, our skilled carpenters and cabinet makers use these shops to develop architecture models, scale design detail mock-ups, and fabricate much of the furniture and millwork that can be found in the buildings we create. The programmatic goal of the project was to create spaces that enable a fluid and efficient workflow between design, fabrication, and finishing.

Back Bay Joinery Shops / Peter Braithwaite Studio

By locating the buildings adjacent to the property road, the workshops respect and minimize the footprint on the sensitive coastal environment as well as strategically restricting the movement of larger vehicles on the property. The central location of the shops on the property also aims to minimize the noise emitted to maintain strong relationships with the local community.


The larger workshop provides a dynamic space for carpentry, design and fabrication while the smaller workshop is primarily used for finishing work and storage. The compositional relationship between the two shops and the courtyard creates an interconnected space that handles a diverse range of projects and fabrication techniques. As a result, both structures are formally connected by large garage doors and a spacious gravel courtyard. The intermediary space is a multi-use area used as exterior shop space in the summer months as well as a space for loading and unloading finished projects. The strong formal axial relationship between the shops allows a productive assembly system as well as minimizing unnecessary efficiencies between materials and carpenters.

Back Bay Joinery Shops / Peter Braithwaite Studio

A simple gable form and a humble material palette reflects our firm’s dedication to honouring the vernacular forms and material culture of the place in which buildings reside. The shops were entirely built by our firm’s carpenters and local tradesmen from the Terence Bay area with the intent to support local businesses and forge strong personal relationships in the surrounding community. The compact and carefully considered design allowed both structures to be built efficiently by a small carpentry team, which in turn drastically reduced the overall cost of construction.

Back Bay Joinery Shops / Peter Braithwaite Studio

The Back Bay Joinery Shops exhibit all the core values of our firm: a deep appreciation for design, dedication to craftsmanship, and commitment to build projects that fully integrate with the local community. The shops have been instrumental in helping our firm take on a wider range of projects and has created a deeper connection between our design and our construction teams.

Back Bay Joinery Shops / Peter Braithwaite Studio

Back Bay Joinery Shops / Peter Braithwaite Studio

atelier / Peter Braithwaite Studio

Back Bay Joinery Shops / Peter Braithwaite Studio

workshop, atelier / Peter Braithwaite Studio

workshop / Peter Braithwaite Studio

Back Bay Joinery Shops / Peter Braithwaite Studio

studio headquarters / Peter Braithwaite Studio

Back Bay Joinery Shops / Peter Braithwaite Studio

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