Holy Child School

In this K-9 school, we worked with the Calgary Catholic School District to create a two-storey school for a large grade range while keeping a sense of openness. Gathering spaces in this type of school are challenging as the age separation creates very different needs. Creating several gathering spaces where smaller grade ranges were collected was an important consideration. Commonly used spaces such as the gym and learning commons were centralized for ease of use and access. We were challenged by the Catholic School District to create a school that subtly reflected the Catholicity of the district. While there are crosses and other symbolic references in the design of the building, the biggest success came in the development of the entrance. The brick walls appear to wrap and envelop the front doors like a shroud that conveys a warmth and comfort that the school curriculum reinforces. The school succeeds in creating an inviting environment for learning from the minute you enter the front doors while managing the complexity of providing a safe and secure sense of place to a broad age spectrum.