Owner: Lambton Kent District School Board
Location: Sarnia, Ontario
Size: 53,000 sf
The new elementary school was designed on the former site of Johnston Memorial Public School. Once demolished, the school initially took shape through a series of meetings with multiple stake holders. This community-focused process yielded an innovative and vibrant school that ideally responds to the many needs of its users. Chief amongst these is the integration with its surrounding urban context. Through sensitive design strategies, thoughtful frontages were conceived that respect the school’s surrounding neighbours, community and natural landscape.
The main entrance facade contains an articulated “learning courtyard” surrounded by a dynamic glass curtain wall. This configuration allows students to connect visually with one another and the varying activities of the courtyard, and also provide inspiring views to the exterior. The courtyard itself is conceived as a dynamic, adaptable outdoor space where students and teachers are provided a unique venue for learning and play.
An emphasis on sustainable design practices was prevalent throughout the school. Careful consideration was taken with the inclusion of natural day lighting strategies. Key design decisions pertaining to the siting and orientation of the building allowed for maximum light penetration while providing various methods of control to reduce heat gain. Rainwater capture systems were also included where water is collected from the roof and reused as a source of natural irrigation for the school’s landscaping. Furthermore, great lengths were taken in the sourcing of regional materials as well as innovative sustainable materials that form the unique palette of the school. These strategies, along with innovative construction techniques all contributed to the school’s LEED-Silver design standards.