Owner: Conseil Scolaire Francophone (SD#93)
École Au-coeur-de-l’ile is a state-of-the-art community school for the francophone population of the Comox-Courtenay area. Built for a population of 380 students, the new building is developed to function as a cutting edge learning environment by day, and as a community hub by night. In addition to K-12 schooling, the building offers a comprehensive pre-school and childcare program in the thriving Maternelle Les-petits-coeurs-de-l’ile.
Developed to respond to 21st century learning principles, the school is organized around four separate pods each containing a variety of learning spaces, project rooms, meeting rooms, student tech areas maker spaces, teacher prep areas and enhanced corridors acting as both circulation and learning commons. The school is also developed to respond to community needs and allows for a variety of uses, including performances in the multi-purpose gymnasium. The design incorporates both indoor and outdoor spaces to enhance the teaching environment and to strengthen the community use potential. Sustainable strategies include natural ventilation, daylighting, geo-exchange energy, rain-water harvesting and reclaimed wood elements.
Constructed of cost-effective, exposed concrete masonry units, the building will be robust over the long term; Yet, with exceptional connectivity to the outdoors, natural daylighting, an exposed mass timber roof, wood slat ceilings, colourful flourishes, and playful elements, the school feels anything but institutional.