Granite Ridge Education Centre

 / Atrium/Commons


Tom Wilson / + VG Architects

Granite Ridge Education Centre
The open, three-storey atrium is the nucleus of the school, encouraging transparency and socializing. The shelves on the landing railings invite students or teachers to stop, lean over to take in the view.

“Here, because of the transparency of the staircase, you always have a really good sensibility of where you are. It’s a natural navigation tool.”

– Tom Wilson, Associate Partner, +VG Architects

Transparent design supports wayfinding

The school’s central atrium is the main public space in the building. Its three-storey height acts as an anticipation-building passageway to the gymnasium. Its central location provides clues as to the general layout of the building. To the south of the atrium is the school’s academic wing. The north houses the common spaces and to the east is a view of a hill and the woods beyond.

The area at the bottom of the stairs is an impromptu gathering place for students or visitors that can accommodate 20 to 30 students.

“From within that stairway you can understand how the building is organized. Some buildings are like a rabbit’s warren of corridors and you can’t figure out where you are or where you should be going. Here, because of the transparency of the staircase, you always have a really good sensibility of where you are. It’s a natural navigation tool.” – Tom Wilson, Associate Partner, +VG Architects

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