Alton Village Public

 / Layout

Avinash Garde, Anil Gokarn / Snyder Architects

Alton Village Public

The 3-storey structure created a very compact footprint which resulted in a number of cost savings and efficiencies.

Avinash Garde, Principal

Alton’s unique site placed physical parameters on how we had to think about its design. The program was to build a 700 pupil place elementary school. Typically this would be built on 6-acres, but because of site restrictions, we only had a buildable site of about 2.2 acres. What it generated was a 3-storey design which was a new type of structure for this Board.  In more urban centres like Toronto and Hamilton, 3 or even 4-storey boards are not uncommon but in a brand new suburban community it is quite rare. We came up with a design where the ground floor houses more community use spaces like the office, gym, early years centre and special needs facilities. The 2nd and 3rd floors are where the classrooms reside.  

The layout of Alton is all about adjacencies – three corridors that meet at a central point on the ground floor. The 2nd and 3rd floors are a boomerang shape with the atrium in the middle. The upper floors are designed such they can be  extended to provide 10 additional classrooms at minimal cost. Passive supervision is easy. You can supervise this school with one teacher on each floor. 

The spatial organization and layout actively enhance student interaction by physically and visually bringing the entire school closer together. Students in grades 4 or 5 can see that there are early learning kids and vice versa. The kids aren’t visually segregated when you design a building that supports connectivity.