Garth Webb Secondary

 / Cafetorium

Priscilla Ladouceur / Hossack & Associates Architects

Garth Webb Secondary
The cafetorium’s two levels allows it to be used on a daily basis as a cafeteria style eating area and meeting space, but also as an auditorium seating area for performances held on the double sided stage.

“The cafetorium is an example a 21st century learning which is focussed on creating multi-purpose, flexible spaces.”

Priscilla Ladouceur, Principal

The Cafetorium is adjacent the Forum and was designed to be a multipurpose space.  It is part of the dynamic hub of the school so we didn’t want it to feel closed off.  We provided visual connections to the Forum with interior glazed screens which help buffer acoustics,  gives the Cafetorium its own spatial identity yet connects it to the other areas. 

There are two floor levels; one that is at the same level as the entire ground floor, and another that is sunken but large enough to function effectively as a multipurpose space and cafeteria.  This allows the stage to be at the same level as the Theatre Arts and Music Classrooms, yet feel like a raised stage because of the lowered seating area.  There is easy access and movement between the classrooms surrounding the stage without the need for ramps or steps.   We also didn’t need to install an elevator or a lift to have someone in a wheelchair access the stage.

The two viewing levels makes for good sightlines (in lieu of raked seating) to the stage while allowing the room to remain multi-functional on a daily basis. It is a 2-sided stage with sliding walls that allow it to be used from either side or opened up completely for one large auditorium space.  The lighting and sound equipment is designed from both sides with control booths on either end and catwalks around.

The cafetorium is an example of 21st century learning which is focussed on creating multi-purpose, flexible spaces rather than designing for specific programming which is difficult to anticipate from year to year, much less over the lifetime of the school.