Fraser River Middle School

Client: School District No. 40 (New Westminster)
Location: New Westminster, BC

The design for the new school building and site represents a positive and cohesive presence, integrating the elements of built form and function, school, Neighborhood Learning Centre, Board office, and shared site programs.

The design response is a unique synthesis of these overarching guidelines in combination with the specific characteristics of the school and park site, the immediate Brow of the Hill neighborhood context, and the broader community of New Westminster.

The basic design parti is that of discreet program elements organized around a splayed circulation and program spine on three levels, opening to the southwest to sun and views.

On the lowest levels, this spine organizes the plan and provides crush space for large gatherings, informal social space, and student or public gallery space.

A wavy wood roof and glazing to the gymnasium provide drama and animate this space. The second and third levels provide the academic and social heart of the school.

This spine is signaled on the east and west elevations by glazed elements, and reads also on the north and south elevations due to the clerestory glazing along the line of the splayed plan element.