Southview Public

 / Atrium/Commons


Peter Duckworth / ZAS Architects

Southview Public

“Our intent was to make it a dynamic space but give it enough area that it could function well. This space provides that ‘moment’ where people come together and connect at least once a day.”

Peter Duckworth, Principal

The entrance and atrium, circulation and layout are linked concepts in our design thinking because each one feeds off each other.   The layout is a cruciform shape with the atrium and entrance at the centre with the arms or corridors radiating out from that apex.

We wanted to give a sense of the school right from the entrance by providing students a sense of ownership over the space by displaying their work and providing a spaces for meeting/ greeting and collaboration.. Right off the entrance we have a wider gathering space, or “crush”space with benches and informal seating so everyone can gather before and after school. A small area just to the side of the entrance has tiered seating which has been used for everything from a casual lounge to impromptu classroom and presentation space. There is a lot going on in here and our intent was to make it a dynamic space but give it enough area that it could function well. It is a multi use space that allows staff to create programming as they see fit.

This is a new school in this community and elementary schools are important buildings, especially in a smaller community. We tried to create a sense of openness and welcome. The 2-storey atrium connects the two floors of the schools.  We introduced many natural elements into this space like natural wood, glazing and skylights to allow for a lot of natural light. The result is it feels open, light, and connected to the outdoors and the community. It is a place where you want to pause, learn and gather. This space really provides that ‘moment’ where people come together and connect at least once a day.