Southview Public

 / Classroom


Peter Duckworth / ZAS Architects

Southview Public

“This has been one of the most well received elements of the school’s design.  This is a novel approach for this Board and we worked with them through the design process so they understood what these rooms could be used for and we understood what they were used for.”

Peter Duckworth, Principal

Our classroom design started by determining the best dimensions to allow for various furniture placements and teaching styles.  While it is a standard 750ft2 classroom, that same space can be more or less useful depending on its proportions.  We also looked at their connection to the corridors, where glazing and natural light is provided, the connection to the resource room and what acoustical separations are possible so they are really functional.  Sometimes these rooms can become glorified storage rooms but if they are correctly designed they can function very well. 

As a result, we focussed on flexibility in recognition that teaching is changing and becoming more collaborative with an increase in team teaching or group work. An exciting element was that classrooms are clustered around a resource room. They are shared between 3-4 classrooms with double doors that allow them to shut down, either acoustically or visually as needed. They can be used as break out rooms, computer rooms or special science or activity rooms. You can have a team teaching approach where one teacher works in the resource room with a small group while another takes students into the main classroom for a more traditional lecture format.  This has been one of the most well received elements of the school’s design.  This is the first time this approach has been used for this Board and we worked with them through the design process so they understood what these rooms could be used for and we understood what they were needed for.  

We outfitted these spaces to be multi functioning. They have a sink, shelving, even beanbag chairs to allow for a bit of relaxation space – the kids have really enjoyed that. There is computer equipment to allow easy access without having to go to the library.  Glazing offers a sense of openness and transparency and allows for passive supervision of students – especially key for older grades.