Situated in a rapidly growing neighbourhood, École R.H.G. Bonnycastle School required an addition to accommodate an expanding student population. Engaged by the Public Schools Finance Board, Republic Architecture Inc. designed a two-storey addition with eight classrooms on the second floor and 74 childcare spaces on the main floor.
Inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, our team developed a design that promoted exploration and discovery of the environment through diverse textures and an interplay between indoor and outdoor spaces. Outside, a play area designed by Scattliff + Miller + Murray includes features that teach children about the environment. Inside, new classrooms are located around a single corridor to maximize access to daylight. The corridor is bathed in light and features large wood-wrapped window seats overlooking the outdoor play area.
Redevelopment of the existing administration area focused on creating a safer, more welcoming entry. Continuing the interplay between indoor and outdoor, the exterior includes renewed landscaping, an accessible sloped walkway, and an elevator to access all levels of the building. Inside, the reception space is brighter and more open, incorporating natural materials and textures with pops of colour for visual interest. A variety of scales of space engage children in understanding and exploring their environment.
Modeled in accordance with ASHRAE 90.1-1999, the addition has an anticipated 45% reduction in energy cost, which is comparable to 51% better than the baseline for MNECB. Other sustainable design features include incorporation of a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system, heat recovery ventilation, and demand control ventilation; maximizing daylighting; and detailing to a high standard, specifying durable buildings materials like brick and Tyndall Stone to withstand environmental influences.