We have been working with the Conseil scolaire Viamonde (CSV) to re-imagine the existing Greenwood Secondary School, located at Danforth and Greenwood in Toronto, into a new French language public secondary school for 21st century learning.
The existing school was built in 1971 for the Toronto Board of Education as the Special Vocational School for Girls. Design by renowned Toronto architects Fairfield and Dubois, it is an example of Brutalist architecture, exemplified by exposed concrete finishes both inside and out.
While the Brutalist style is part of Toronto’s modern architectural heritage, this inward-looking school does not reflect current best practices in the design of spaces for learning – it has even been described by some parents as a feeling like a ‘prison.’ As such, our challenge was to completely re-imagine the school to provide a welcoming, modern, and daylight-filled learning environment.
This vision is about ‘Dreaming Big’ – the design respects the simplicity, structural integrity and rationality of the original building, while adding strategic areas of glazing, and opening up interior spaces to meet the Board’s programmatic requirements and student-centered approach.
Extensive renovations and a 5,000 sq.ft. addition would accommodate over 500 students in grades 7-12. The concept includes an enlarged regulation size third floor gymnasium flooded with natural light and tree-top views, a rooftop play area, a flexible Student Commons including a stage, a new, light-filled Learning Commons, as well as specialty classrooms for sciences, technology, music and the arts.
Additional information on the design can be found here:
Open letter from the Conseil scolaire Viamonde about the project: http://www.grandtoronto.ca/lettre-ouverte-de-gouvernance-de-direction-conseil-scolaire-viamonde/
Video describing the proposed project: