Located near historic downtown Abbotsford, B.C. and built in 1952, Abbotsford Senior Secondary School has a colourful history. When the opportunity arose to partially replace the aging structure, the school district and city took the notion of community building to heart. The end result is an energetic, dynamic, multi-use civic hub that is a community centerpiece and source of community pride.
Architecturally, the building radiates from the school’s central cohesive gesture, a 3-story cast-in-place concrete, steel, glass and wood rotunda. This inspirational, finely detailed, wood-roofed structure provides a bright programmatic focal point, with corridors and communal spaces radiating out concentrically.
Exposed concrete walls, columns and cantilevered coloured concrete ring slabs with glass railings create an interesting play on light and firmness to the space.
Inviting, bright gathering pockets, pull-out spaces and corridor seating areas allow learning and social break-out in various sizes, styles and locations on all floors.
Creative openings connecting these spaces with teaching opportunities allows for instruction in 21st Century teaching methods, and allows for future change.
Science super lab, “guide from the side” computer lab, vocational facilities including wood shops, hairdressing studio and a teaching kitchen allows for more in-depth and specialized teaching, preparing students for real-life application.
Links between rooms accommodate teacher and student collaboration, while overhead doors and adjacent multi-purpose space extend the classroom beyond traditional walls.
Environmentally conscious initiatives have been employed in the design wherever possible by the School District through a LEED Gold program in order to maximize benefits and minimize budgetary concerns. Incorporating energy conservation measures such as extensive day-lighting and natural ‘stack effect’ ventilation techniques have helped to create an optimum learning environment and reduce annual building operations costs. Architecturally, natural material selections such as stained and natural concrete floors, exposed wood ans steelwork, and low VOC containing materials where embodied into the overall design to create this unique learning environment.