Paul Stevens, Senior Principal
We wanted to make sure that the design of Bill Crothers reinforces the academic programming: that sport is central to what and how students are learning.
Visitors notice the school’s focus on athletics when they walk through the door into the large, brightly lit, double-height “student forum filled with students milling about, readying themselves for one of the 26 school-supported sports activities.
Big-screen televisions line the generous space, broadcasting student news and live feeds of sporting events across the globe. The student forum is connected to two large gymnasia and a lecture theatre, and the plan allows the building to operate as a regional sports facility outside of school hours.
The athletic forum is Bill Crothers’ “living room”; the nexus where the programming converges. It is directly related to the Major Competition Gymnasium, which it opens onto. It connects to both an outdoor athletic courtyard and the student association space where a large sports mural establishes the schools mandate.
There’s a double height entrance level that overlooks the main gym; this transparency creates a dynamic, sports-driven experience at the centre of the school. People on the 2nd floor can look into the forum space through the windows to see what is going on. Students, catching up with their friends and teammates, recline on the informal seating: concrete benches, inexpensive, durable, easy to clean and yet modern in look, as they seem to “pop up” out of the floor.