View from second storey glazed corridor to double height front entrance lobby with white pendant lighting and wood panel walls

Moffat Creek Public School & Day Care

Material selections reinforce the sustainability of this highly efficient building, while fostering a connection to the natural surroundings.

+VG Architects incorporated low maintenance, durable materials into the design of the new school.

The classrooms and other major spaces are organized along one main corridor on each floor. This single corridor design provides a clear linear path of travel for students and enables efficient supervision by staff. This design also provides an important advantage – it allows each classroom and major space to have windows which enhance daylighting.

Enhanced daylighting is beneficial because it decreases reliance on artificial lighting, and studies have demonstrated a link between a naturally lighted environment and improved student performance. Artificial lighting represents as much as 30% of the energy requirement for a typical school.

LOCATION

Cambridge, Ontario

CLIENT

Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB)

COMPLETED

2012

SIZE

67,400 ft² (School)
4,100 ft² (Day Care)

CAPACITY

2,012 FTS

SERVICES

New Construction


Rendering of illuminated Academy complex with palm trees with parking lot in foreground and mountains in background at dusk

The Warwick Academy

The Warwick Academy, founded in 1662 is considered to be the longest continually operating school in the Western World, and is well known for its high standards of Academic Excellence.

Located on 22 acres in the heart of Bermuda, the school serves both Primary and Secondary School students, as well as an International Baccalaureate program of more than 100 students.

Over the years, and particularly, over the last half century, the school has been expanded through multiple phases of construction to provide additional athletic, arts, and academic facilities. These expansions have been typically undertaken in reaction to an immediate need with no long term Master Plan along with guiding principles for future facilities. The result is a building complex which lacks clear delineation between the various departments, complicated circulation with various floor levels that hamper accessibility, and no central focus or sense of arrival.

+VG Architects in association with local architects Botelho Wood Architects were commissioned by Warwick Academy to lead a design study to examine options to implement the Academy’s current expansion plans:

  • New Learning Commons
  • New secondary wing with eight new classrooms
  • New International Baccalaureate centre (22,000 ft2)
  • New Performing Arts Centre (16,000 ft2)
  • New multi-purpose rooms for Primary and Secondary levels
  • Improved parking and automobile circulation
  • Improved pedestrian circulation
  • New 12 unit residential development

Previous expansions at Warwick Academy have typically been undertaken in reaction to an immediate need, without the benefit of a long-term Master Plan. The +VG study provided guiding principles for future facilities, and recommendations to improve the existing campus, with better delineation between various departments, simplification of the circulation and enhanced accessibility. The study examines options to develop a central focus for the campus and create an appropriate sense of arrival at this remarkable institution.

LOCATION

Bermuda

CLIENT

The Warwick Academy

COMPLETED

2012

SIZE

22,000 ft² (New International Baccalaureate centre)
16,000 ft² (New Performing Arts Centre)

SERVICES

Master Plan


Illuminated three storey red brick school with sconce lighting, windows and steel detail at dawn

Prince of Wales Elementary School

The new Prince of Wales school is a state-of-the-art facility, with up-to-date classroom amenities for the students.

The design is based on the Provincial elementary education program, and a versatile “Town Square” concept. The new accessible, multi-use facility is integrated into the neighbourhood, permitting after-hours use by the community. Full-sized playfields were relocated in the location of the old school.

The architectural design is intentionally modern in style, intended to be a positive statement about urban revitalization in this older downtown neighborhood. The new school’s “warm and inviting character” is due to the contrast between distinctive modern features like the glass curtain wall and the antique-looking red-brown brick. The project re-used many historic stone artifacts from the original school.

Located in the heart of urban Hamilton, the design has been praised for its “out-of-the-box thinking and efficient site planning”. Prince of Wales elementary, in the shadow of famed Ivor Wynne Stadium, won the Award of Merit in the City of Hamilton’s 2009 Urban Design and Architecture Awards. Winners of the juried contest must excel in multiple areas:

  • Address scale, materials, and building orientation within context
  • Create a quality pedestrian environment
  • Respect heritage
  • Incorporate energy efficiency and sustainability
  • Be well executed

The awards jury said this put an “important community use” on a “potentially difficult site.”

LOCATION

Hamilton, Ontario

CLIENT

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB)

COMPLETED

2009

SIZE

75,600 ft²

Capacity

800 FTS

SERVICES

New Construction

AWARDS

2009 Award of Merit
Hamilton Urban Design Awards


Illuminated glazed double height staircase and red brick façade nestled in green hill at dusk

Muskoka Falls Elementary School & Day Care

This elementary school project offered an opportunity to demonstrate how sustainability and the creation of an inspired learning environment are complementary agendas in school design.

Strategic decisions regarding material selections reinforce ideas of sustainability and connection to the natural surroundings in which the building was set.

Pre-cast concrete floors and roof, concrete block, and clay brick all represent locally available and highly durable material selections. Complementary natural woods and composite wood panels describe a relationship to with the natural surroundings while utilizing renewable and fully recyclable products.

Enhanced interior day-lighting is accomplished through large, north facing windows for all classrooms and translucent glazing panels that direct and diffuse natural light deep into the gymnasium space.

Continuous curtain wall glazing for the library with a view out across the Muskoka River is accompanied by a deep soffit overhang that minimizes summer solar heat gain. This employment of day-lighting techniques reduces energy demand for lighting which can constitute as much as 30% of the energy requirement for a typical school building. Natural light has also been linked to improved student performance.

Our experience in “evidence based” design, exemplified in this project, continues to be used on other projects to create positive learning environments.

LOCATION

Bracebridge, Ontario

CLIENT

Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB)

COMPLETED

2007

SIZE

22,000 ft²

SERVICES

New Construction

PHOTOGRAPHY

David Whittaker