Engaging the natural world contributes to whole child development.
Terry White, Partner
Muskoka Falls Public School, near Bracebridge, Ontario, is a recent addition to the Trillium Lakelands District School Board. Designed by Terry White and Tom Wilson of +VG Architects, it is built in a wonderful natural setting overlooking the Muskoka River and surrounded by mature pines.
The school is shaped to leverage all the benefits its spectacular setting provides: wonderful views of nature and plenty of indirect daylight. The school is optimized for student physical and mental health. The views of nature include the Muskoka River, the tall, mature pine trees and the wide open blue sky and are available from every room in the school. This unparalleled openness provides a natural outlet to calm anxious nerves and reduce stress for both students and teachers. Beyond stimulating views, the school is positioned so that the classrooms and library have significant indirect daylight, which enhances health and helps sustain peoples’ energy throughout the day.
The school is a special learning environment that communicates the Board’s value that its schools be the very best places for its students: the glass staircase thrusting out from the building centres and connects the students to the terrain; the library’s floor to ceiling glass wall overlooking the Muskoka River provides room for contemplation and inspiration; and the angled hallway generates a sense of dynamism and purpose to even the most everyday activity.