This renovation and addition project reimagines an existing secondary school, located at Danforth and Greenwood in Toronto, into a new 21st century French language public secondary school for the Conseil scolaire Viamonde.

The existing school building was designed by Toronto architects Fairfield and Dubois. It opened in 1971 as the Vocational School for Girls and features exposed concrete finishes typical of the Brutalist style. Our challenge was to reimage 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 will accommodate over 500 students in grades 7-12. The design 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 and retractable theatre seating, a new, light-filled Learning Commons, as well as specialty classrooms for sciences, technology, music and the arts.