Willow Park Junior Public

Tania Bortolotto / Bortolotto

Even though this was an addition, we felt obliged to make sure that aspects of the older parts of the school balanced the new.

School Information
Willow Park Junior Public
Toronto District School Board
Scarborough, Ontario

Grades: K-6
Students: 501

Donna Quan

Jerry Chadwick

Angelos Bacopoulos, Chief Facilities Officer

John Chasty

Violet Mari

Project Details

Tania Bortolotto

David Hine Engineering Inc.

Tania Bortolotto, President

At Willow Park Junior Public School, two kindergarten classrooms were added to an existing Toronto District School Board elementary public school as part of the Province of Ontario’s $1.4 billion capital funding for the implementation of the full-day kindergarten programme. The addition is modest in scale and forms a part of a larger tired and old existing school. The major challenges were the intense budget and timelines and the necessity to design a simple box to ensure these constraints were met.

Our design attempts to re-energize the entire school and the community along the street by introducing a modernized exterior façade through attention to the details at the corners of the building, the recessing of the windows, angling of walls and the use of contrasting materials and colours, all to create a three dimensional skin. Bortolotto’s design also included improvements to the outdoor play area, the interior design of the new classrooms and upgrades to the existing kindergarten classrooms and cubbies.

Through our experience working with and listening to the issues educators face, we understand that having calm, focused, and happy students and unstressed, positive teachers gives everyone the best chance at success. Students and teachers face all kinds of daily challenges. It’s very difficult for an anxious, stressed-out child to focus on learning, much less achieve.

Educators prioritize academic success, but they also understand that this can only happen when they first ensure a child’s emotional well-being, that kids and staff need to feel good and be calm and emotionally strong to be ready to learn. We believe that this can be achieved, in part, by shaping a school environment that reduces stress and helps people feel settled and happy to be there.  This  addition focussed on quality architectural detailing, a light bright palette and durable but attractive materials to elevate the value the students and community placed in the school, and therefore themselves.    

Explore Willow Park Junior Public
More by Bortolotto