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Fraser River Middle School

  • Client
    School District No. 40 (New Westminster)
  • Location
    New Westminster, BC
  • Completion
  • Photographer
    Brit Kwasney Photography


Fraser River Middle School is a new 500-student, grades 6 to 8 facility that incorporates the school, a Neighborhood Learning Centre, the School District No 40 Board office, and shared site programs. The design combines these complex requirements with the specific characteristics of the school and park site, as well as the neighborhood and broader community context.

This school embodies the key concepts of 21st century learning. Academic areas are arranged on two upper interconnected floors around a learning commons, which is the figurative heart and literal centre of the school. Classrooms are divided into four groups of four learning communities, which are stacked vertically on each side of the learning commons.

The building’s spine is laid out on three levels, all of which open to the southwest to sun and views. The spine delivers crush space for large gatherings, informal social nodes, and student or public gallery space on the lowest levels. A wavy wood roof and glazing to the gymnasium provide drama and animate this area.

The spine is showcased on the east and west elevations of the building by glazed elements. It is also present on the north and south elevations thanks to the clerestory glazing.