Tatamagouche is a unique place. Conceptually, the design points to that uniqueness and draws upon the community’s lumbering and shipbuilding heritage as architectural devices to develop forms, materials and details for the new school. The design creates a meaningful building, thoughtfully connected to its site and its community. Wood is used on the facade as a reference to the lumbering industry, shaping the walls into bulging masses reminiscent of ship hulls. Within the school are large bridge truss creates a parallel image to the existing train bridge which crosses the nearby waterway which forms a iconic part of the water vista and shore edge.
The building design incorporates three distinct points of reference for users. These “nodes” have been developed to act as learning zones within the broader school design. In many ways, the school’s conventional classroom configurations are deconstructed and augmented by these open and flexible learning nodes. Core Node – This area at the main entry of the school incorporates a library zone (commons), social crush space for cafeteria/cafetorium, access to gym, cafeteria, stage, interconnection to upper work zone, café zone, admin zone. Academic Nodes – Located within the north wing, a node is carved out of the classroom block on each floor. The intent is to provide a cluster of learning rooms around a flexible break-out / collaboration space. The lower level space is able to integrate with an outdoor learning space thereby making connections to the natural environment, Tatamagouche itself and connect the space to the changing of seasons. Hands-on Node – originally envisioned as a STEAM node, this area has been updated based on SST / teacher input to incorporate hands-on learning opportunities such as skilled trades, production technology, textiles and nutrition. It offers flexible break-out space for group work, project assembly or presentations.