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BLOG: All Saints High School – Fostering Faith and Community

October 3, 2019
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The Calgary Catholic School District engaged S2 to execute the design and construction of a new high school in Calgary's SE community of Legacy, as part of a major educational infrastructure initiative.

Project Overview

Faith is the front and centre cornerstone for All Saints High School located in the SE community of Legacy in Calgary. When one enters the school it is apparent that one has entered the heart of the community. Spirit – Mind - Body are unified here, represented by the suspended chapel, library and gymnasium. This intersection also forms the visual connector to all three wings of the school, fostering community in a safe environment.

The LEED Silver certified school was designed to bring together 1,500 students, teachers and staff multiple times a day for a variety of reasons. The main corridor acts as a hub for amenities, teaching programs and special events. In this hub the experience is dynamic and ever-changing depending on the time of day. It’s a place where one might hear a music practice, pass by a drama rehearsal or on the way for lunch to the cafeteria see the newest hair style being created in the salon classroom. It is a place that enables informal interaction, supports multiple community related activities, where students can gather to collaborate, eat lunch or power up their devices for researching their latest assignment.

The robust design process included exploration and discussion of many possible configurations to develop optimal, leading edge solutions to support progressive teaching and learning. Purpose-built spaces support a range of learning offerings available to a student body with diverse interests. The latest in technology and state-of-the-art equipment was prioritized to deliver high quality teaching and learning so that students are fully prepared to enter a marketplace where technologies are constantly evolving.

Sustainable design in the infrastructure of the building was also prioritized to create a highly durable and timeless building. Thoughtful application of materials and colours together with natural light in all spaces creates an inviting and welcoming environment.

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Project Vision

  • Catholic faith front and centre: At the entrance, the suspended chapel draws the eye upward in symbolic gesture to faith. The cross symbol has been subtly woven into the design of the floor detail and glazing. Natural light shining through the windows provides an uplifting sense of place.
  • Leading edge: The latest in technology and state-of-the-art equipment was prioritized to deliver high quality teaching and learning. The prime example of this is the Super Lab where a circular lab invites collaborative teaching-learning and a high degree of interaction between students. In the gymnasium and corridor hub we worked with acoustic experts to support optimal sound for performances and special events.
  • Safety: The Y-shaped footprint of the building was an integrated design solution to enable visual safety and a sense of community connection from a single point at the heart of the school. This also represents the unity at the heart of the school’s faith.
  • Durability: Building materials were selected based on proven durable building science, notably concrete block. As these materials tend to feel industrial in nature, the design included the addition of materials that were warm and welcoming such as light-coloured wood and the strategic use of colour.
  • LEED Silver: A sustainable building was important for the school district’s respect of nature and the environment. For example, light sensors in all areas fully leverage the benefits of using natural daylight to illuminate spaces throughout the school.

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In summary, the design of the school including the common areas and amenities encourage gathering, engagement and community-building, and most importantly underpin the Spirit-Mind-Body vision.

Client: Calgary Catholic School District
Location: SE community of Legacy, Calgary, AB
Services: Prime Consulting, Architecture, Interior Design
Size: 146,000 square feet / 13,560 square metres
Occupancy: August 2018