Date: 2014 completion
Location: Anmore, BC
Winner of the Canadian Architect 2011 Award of Excellence
The underlying goal of the new middle school design is to create an environment for learning that captivates the imagination of the students and actively encourages exploration and growth. The space intends to simultaneously stimulate teachers, staff and visitors through their experience within the school. The result, is a design that creates a series of carefully considered, light filled spaces which seamlessly integrate into the natural landscape.
Rather than advancing with a response based on the idea of “teaching”, the design team consciously redirected this point of view, and formalized a creative response from the standpoint of “learning”. Understanding the manner in which children learn, interpret and discover our world provided the underlying design methodology for the design of the new middle school which focused on education through interaction.
To connect spaces is to connect all ways of learning. By opening and linking the learning environments within a school, we bridge varied educational scenarios while encouraging a dynamic and rich environment in which new ideas and concepts emerge without boundaries.
The result is a “U-shaped” building where the two primary classroom wings and the centrally located library open onto a common elevated courtyard space which optimally bind the program spaces in which students learn. And by taking advantage of a steeply sloping site, the gymnasium, music and shop spaces are nestled into the landscape below the classrooms and connected via an open socially engaging central stair which serves to bring natural light down into the building.