Designing an Open-Air School for the 21st Century

1:00 PM
 2:00 PM


Learning environments have evolved significantly over the last century, from the outdoor schools of the post-war period, to 21st century learning concepts of today. Throughout this time, teaching pedagogy and facility design have evolved together in a push-pull fashion. The life of an educational facility often spans multiple pedagogical periods, so design must create a flexible framework of spaces that can evolve and adapt, thus meeting the needs of today and the future at once. The new Maple Grove Elementary, in the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia, incorporates ideas of the outdoor school with concepts of 21st century learning to create a school that pushes the boundaries of innovative learning environments. In this session, we will cover the complete genesis of Canada’s first open-air school in an exciting and varied presentation broken down into these topics:
1. Open-Air Schools: the history of the movement that informed project parti.
2. The Seismic Program: this first step in this project was to secure government funding for a new building.
3. Research + Design Process: local and international precedents that informed the design; and our innovative engagement process with the school community.
4. Planning Principles + 21st Century Learning: from overall site planning, to spatial organization strategies.
5. Technology + Collaboration: how we utilized BIM, cloud computing and other technologies to visualize and analyze the design.
6. Detailing + Iterative Value Engineering: developing design details to support the overall concept, and the strategies we employed to stretch a dollar.
7. Construction: lessons learned when translating the design to construction; and how we engaged the school community throughout this exciting phase. 8. Completion + Occupancy: see and hear about the completed school.

#1: Building design
#2: Site design
#3: Environmental analysis and issues of building materials and systems
#4: Acoustics

Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.

Community Engagement: Leads the internal and external communities through a discovery process that articulates and communicates a community-based foundational vision, forming the basis of a plan for the design of the learning environment. The vision is achieved through a combination of rigorous research, group facilitation, strategic conversations, qualitative and quantitative surveys and workshops. Demonstrates the skill to resolve stakeholder issues while embedding a community's unique vision into the vision for its schools.   

Dwayne Smyth, Architect, AIBC, AAA, MRAIC, Partner, SHAPE Architecture
Dwayne received both a Bachelor and Master of Architecture from Montana State University, and studies abroad at both the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven and the Bauhaus. He joined SHAPE Architecture as a partner in 2012 and has since worked on variety of public projects that seek to translate significant social and cultural ideas into simple, elegant and memorable buildings. Dwayne's passion for design has been rewarded with multiple Lieutenant Governors Awards as well as the Canadian Architect Award of Excellence.

Avery Titchkosky, Architect AIBC, CPHD, Project Architect, SHAPE Architecture
Avery completed both his Bachelor of Applied Science and Masters of Architecture at the University of British Columbia, during which time he also studied at the National University of Singapore and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He joined SHAPE Architecture in 2014, and is the Project Architect for the Maple Grove Elementary school project. 

LearningSCAPES Virtual Conference: Passport to Learning



+1 480.391.0840
11445 E. Via Linda, Ste 2-440
Scottsdale, Arizona 85259 USA