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Charles Dickens Elementary School

Type: Public

Date: 2008

Location: Vancouver, BC

Firm: Stantec Architecture

Set within an existing residential neighbourhood this new elementary school in East Vancouver engages the community on all sides. A courtyard on the east is a meeting place sculpted in red concrete and scattered with polished granite spheres to provide a playful and tactile place for kids and the community. The west edge of the building is designed to integrate with the adjacent public park, with as butterfly garden, play equipment and field that become an addition to the public realm. The south facade is a formal arcade that creates a covered area for bike parking and defines an activity zone all under a wooden screen designed to reduce the glare to the south facing classrooms. The north facade is articulated and scaled to respond to the adjacent neighbourhood.

The interior of the school was designed in collaboration with the teaching staff to support a team-teaching environment. Classrooms are connected with large sliding panels, and corridors are enlarged to become shared activity zones. The Gymnasium and cafeteria are separated from the main classroom area to allow after hours use for community activities. The school is also LEED silver Certified, and is one of the first school facilities in BC to incorporate water collection for non-potable use including toilet flushing and irrigation.

Role: completed with previous firm: Stantec Architecture Ltd., Vancouver BC. Jesse Garlick was a key member of a small project team from 2004-2008 and participated in all aspects of the project including feasibility, user-group and community meetings, design, construction documents and construction administration and LEED certification.

CEFPI Pinnacle Award 2009, Northwest Region
LEED Silver certified, CAGBC