Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School / Regional Arts Centre & Ken Cox Community Centre
Client : Toronto Catholic District School Board and City of Toronto
Area : School 160,000 sf Community Centre: 20,000 sf
Program : Pod-Style Classrooms, Theatre Arts / Music Space, Visual Arts Rooms, Student Forum, Cafeteria, Library, Computer Labs, Gymnasium, Fitness Centre, Community Multi-Use Rooms
Completion : September 2010
Associated Architects : ZAS (School Phase Only)
Adjacent to Humber College and Lake Ontario, and located within Colonel Samuel Smith Park, one of the City’s most unique and historically significant parks, this new secondary school and community centre complex represents an innovative cooperative approach to educational and community planning. The joint venture project between the City of Toronto and the Toronto Catholic District School Board combines a 160,000 sf high school, complete with triple gymnasium, library / resource facility and community meeting rooms, with a 20,000 sf community recreation component. The design approach respects the existing campus character of the site and evolved out of a master plan that balances the heritage and park space needs of the local community with those of a new school and community centre.
The school is distinguishable by its compact form, and attempt to create a series of smaller building components or ‘pods’ that pin-wheel internally around a three storey student forum, that also serves as a light well. All classrooms are provided with natural light and a panoramic view of the park and adjacent college campus. Transparency within the building and visual overview to all program areas were an important design criteria. The clarity of the plan organization accommodates a variety of different program functions and privileges a high degree of internal flexibility. The community programs are all connected to and available for shared-use with the school, but however, can operate independently.