Willow Park Junior Public

 / Classroom

Tania Bortolotto / Bortolotto

Willow Park Junior Public
The classrooms are framed by recessed panels and showcase the learning inside.

“Located at the front of the school, the classroom addition was an exciting opportunity to revitalize the facade and showcase the new FDK learning that was taking place inside.”

Tania Bortolotto, President

This project focussed on the addition of two new full day kindergarten classrooms. Located as they were at the front of the school, the classroom addition was an exciting opportunity to revitalize the facade of what was an aging, tired building, and showcase the new FDK learning that was taking place inside.

The classrooms flank either side of a new glazed entrance and from the street, are framed by large recessed windows that offer views into the classrooms, highlighting the activities within.  Students inside look out onto trees and  residential homes and not distracting busy storefronts.  These windows are larger than the standard so there’s tremendous opportunity to see in, and, of course, for those inside to see out so that there are immediate connections and context.  They bring lots of natural light into the rooms which keeps these new learners, and their teachers,  engaged, energized and feeling good.  From the inside, voids between the windows are filled with much appreciated, continuous full-height storage.

High ceilings keep things feeling open while child height furnishings and comfortable flooring address a child’s desire to do nearly everything on the floor. The classrooms are kept free of clutter by placing cubbies adjacent to the exterior door, along with washrooms.  This also reduces the amount of dirt and snow brought into the classroom, keeping it cleaner and safer for the children.

It was important to get the classroom proportions right. A rectangular shape was the best use of space and allowed the most flexibility of layout.  Materials are highly durable and low maintenance in this high-use environment.  We prefer to use warm or neutral colours, even in kindergarten spaces, to reduce the potential visual noise.  This allows the student’s artwork to stand out and doesn’t overwhelm or compete with a space that will be filled with colour  and texture as children create and learn through the year.

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