Kettle Creek Public School, formerly known as Port Stanley Public School was originally constructed in 1908. The renovation project was initiated by the need to merge another school community from St. Thomas with the existing Port Stanley Public School population. The exterior building upgrades include the addition of a new canopy and barrier free ramp at the main entrance, refinishing the metal fascia around the perimeter of the building and a one storey addition on the south side of the existing school. The existing site access on the east side of the building was formalized with a new asphalt bus lay-by and parking lot for 50 parking spaces, as well as a new concrete sidewalk network that links the vehicular drop off to each building entrance. The interior of the building underwent a full architectural, mechanical and electrical building upgrade, which included two new classrooms, a new Learning Commons, new floor, ceiling and wall finishes as well as new millwork, mechanical equipment, and electrical fixtures. The major spatial layout changes include converting the existing Library into two new classrooms and the addition of a new Learning Commons with a Maker Space and two Creative Spaces. The building was also updated to meet all barrier free requirements as outlined in the Ontario Building Code including the addition of a Universal Washroom, two new ramps and a chair lift to access the existing elevated stage in the Gym.
The new St. Angela Merici Catholic Elementary School located in northwest Chatham establishes a new standard for elementary education for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board. The facility includes a new Child Care Centre with infant, toddler and pre-school classrooms. The main entrances for both the school and the Child Care Centre facing south to allow for clear visibility from the street. The site was carefully designed to optimize bus and vehicular circulation by providing two separate parking areas, one for parent drop off, visitor and Child Care parking and the other for bus drop off and staff parking. The site also includes a fenced in Child Care exterior play area, a hard surface exterior playground with basketball courts, 3 soccer fields and a landscaped exterior classroom accessible from the Learning Commons. The project brings together three existing north Chatham school communities and provides them with a new state of the art collaborative education facility.
The addition and alterations to the Western Student Recreation Centre were necessitated by the need to relocate the varsity practice facility from an outdated Thames Hall facility on campus. In order to do so, a new gymnasium needed to be added on the roof of a ground floor gymnasium and while also renovating one of the ground floor gyms to include Western University varsity branding. While conducting an intial site visit, we were on the existing roof where the new gymnasium addition was to be located, and were immediately struck by the views to the east over the river valley. Since the east elevation was also the most prominent at the street intersection, we proposed adding full-height glass in lieu of the typical solid wall for gymnasiums to enable views out and daylight into the building. This also enabled the east facade to provide more of a landmark on the corner, glowing as a lantern in the evening.
Located within the existing central courtyard, the addition was designed as a free-standing structure separated from the existing building by continuous expansion joints. To achieve this, the addition uses the existing 5’ grid of the original building, ensuring all new walls aligned with the existing pre-cast panels which remain exposed within the addition. The regular grid structure established a set of guidelines for how the program elements should be positioned and was an important part in helping the user navigate the space. The result is a rationalized addition that was completed on a tight timeline and respects the existing structure, while providing a contemporary learning and teaching environment.
The alterations to the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel at Western University were necessitated to provide the land required to build the Amit Chakma Engineering Building. A comprehensive review of the existing spaces and workflow for Wind Tunnel staff resulted in a reconfigured spaces that achieves the following: relocated entrance to the south end of the building off the new shared courtyard space to enhance public visibility of the innovative research facility; a dedicated model display area adjacent to the main entrance and reception which celebrates the history of the work; and converting the existing barrelled-roof corridor into the main staff collaboration space. The result is a renewed work environment which supports the progressive wind engineering and research that takes place within it.