St. Gabriel Catholic School

Brantford, Canada

The design of this award –winning JK-Grade 8 school was developed to express the theme of “connection and communication”, an idea that conceptually resulted in it’s unique planning.  Connection is achieved through a compact plan that locates a non-walled library at its core.  In combination with an adjacent exterior courtyard, the library achieves a more direct connection with the classrooms that surround its perimeter.  This planning approach has promoted enhanced interaction between the grade levels as well as maximizing the amount of useable area for instruction.  To reinforce the interaction fostered by the overall school design the classrooms are grouped around a series of shared resource areas, which are used for team teaching, computer instruction, or group projects. 


Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board


35,000 s.f.


Compact Plan Expresses Theme “Connection & Communication”

General / Intermediate / Jr. & Sr. Classrooms

Special Education Centre

Library Resource Centre

Gymnasium / Changerooms

Activity Resource Centre

Exterior Courtyard

Sustainable Features

  • Expression in the architecture of the building of its interconnectedness to its site & environment
  • East-West building orientation for maximum sun exposure
  • Careful site design takes advantage of existing site features of the site to create a sheltered south facing microclimate for the play yard
  • To reduce energy costs the use of a high efficiency central heating and cooling plant, heat recovery ventilator and daylight and occupancy sensors on lights
  • Use of large high windows, which maximize the usable natural light and views available from each classroom
  • Specifying long life easy to maintain materials and equipment
  • Design of an outdoor natural science classroom providing an outdoor space within the school for measuring stations and experiments making quantifiable the connection between building and its environment


Recognized Value Award for Design Share, School Construction News


“Shaping Our School” Alex Bozikovic, Professional Speaking, Dec 2007