Owner: Greater Essex County District School Board
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Size: 31,000 sf new + 4,500 sf renovations
J.P. Thomson Associates Architects were given the difficult and challenging task of creating a phased building expansion to the existing dual track Bellewood School. The new addition resulted in an increase from 16 classrooms to 27 classrooms. The main component of this project was the 15 classrooms, two-storey addition to the west side of the existing building. The addition involved the demolition of two existing classrooms that the design team required to remove due to property line limitations and in an effort to take full advantage of land use.
Conceptually, the design was conceived to extend the forms and lines of the original school and to provide visual connections between the building and the landscape. The front of the school (Labelle), historically, nurtured a large number of mature trees. A municipal park lies adjacent to the west school lot line. The design sought to extend along these outdoor spaces, capture the natural landscapes present and return them to the interior spaces of the school and its users.
New brick was carefully selected to compliment the existing colours and to contrast the aluminium panel and glass volume that bisects the classroom addition mass. This volume was designed to link the existing main entrance to the new addition and beyond, to the municipal park – acting as an aperture – making connections across the landscape.