The 1,416 m2 Fox Lake Cree Nation School was designed to accommodate the educational program for Kindergarten and Grades 1 to 8 for a projected school population of 65 students. The school also accommodates a high school re-entry program and adult education.
The compact plan utilizes a corridor system that revolves around a central core thereby creating a “corridor loop” within the school. Within the central core are functions such as student washrooms, Principal’s office and Administration spaces. Since the school is relatively small in size, the design endeavors to create an intimate setting for students, staff and visitors alike.
The “corridor loop” is located within a large, high volume that allows southerly sun to enter through clerestory windows. The central core space resembles a small building or “house” which is inside of the higher volume and adds to the intimate feeling. A Gathering Space positioned in front of the “house” allows students, staff and visitors to gather in an informal setting.
The main entrance faces east for maximum wind protection in winter and maximum exposure to morning sun. All classrooms have large windows to maximize natural light. The three classrooms face north which lets in diffused, non-glaring natural light. The Kindergarten and faces south, adjacent to their playgrounds, which take advantage of the warm direct sunlight. The Gymnasium is on the west end of the school, providing protection from the winter wind for the playgrounds and giving a warm, south facing exterior wall to play against.