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Leighton Education Centre

cultural, mixed-use


The Leighton Education Centre is a simple bar-shaped building with a single rotational kink in it, allowing each end to align to the historical resources of the site: the Art Centre and the one room schoolhouse. This gesture acts as a implied connection between the two while also creating a protected zone on the site. Vehicular access and bus drop off is also contained on the eastern edge of the site to maintain this pedestrian friendly area.


The massing of the new building relates in proportion and shape to the heritage schoolhouse in a manner that compliments and does not overpower the existing amenities and infrastructure. The building does not attempt to be a strong and bold statement, instead it respects its surrounding and understands that its function is more important than its presence. The large deck aligns to Echo Point, which exists on site, deep within the heart of the landscape. The massing of the building acts as a catalyst to direct visitors out into the landscape through an existing clearing in the tree line that creates a natural gateway to the expansive mountain vistas.


Further emphasizing this draw to the mountains, the roof line extends out toward the gateway lengthening the mass of the building and creating a covered liminal space . This stretch of the massing is a reference to classical vanishing point structure within art composition to highlight focal points in an image: in this case the landscape beyond the tree grove. The extension of the roofline uses the angles of the building to visually draw visitors towards the gateway while also forming a cantilevered covered outdoor classroom, a vital component for the education centre’s daily programming.


A strategic glazing strategy is used to control light, views, privacy and security both internally and externally. Glazing provides a visual connection between the internal administration space at the building’s centre and the external protected gathering space within the crux of the building. Benches line this glazing both on the interior and exterior creating an additional classroom seating outside, and ad hoc seating arrangement on the interior. 

Proposed Education Centre (1)

Heritage One Room Schoolhouse (2)
Pottery Studio (3)
Groundskeeper’s House  (4)
Painting Studio (5)
Proposed Seacan (6)
Pathways (7)
Birdhouse (8)

The building is clad in a durable (weather, longevity and animal) metal standing seam and fibre reinforced cement slat. The charcoal colour metal cladding was selected to compliment the roof of the existing one room schoolhouse. The red fibre cement slats colour match the one room schoolhouse’s painted red siding which forms part of the historical index for the resource, and is lovingly and frequently repainted by the community members. Red has also been selected throughout the project as an accent colour to reinforce this historical connection to the site. 

concrete bench with wood seat (cb)
door, glazed (dg)
door, metal (dm)
metal shroud (ms)
metal standing seam (mss)
prefinished metal (pm)
slider for environmental protection (s)
fibre reinforced cement vertical slat (vs)
window (w)

outdoor classroom (1)
classroom 1 (2)
classroom 2 (3)
staff and prep room (4)
office (5)
water closets and lavatories (6)
staff washroom (7)
janitor (8)
corridor (9)
boot bench (10)
outdoor bench (11)
vestibule (12)
mechanical and electrical (13)

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