Vancouver School District
4,263 sm (45,890 sf)
General Gordon Elementary is an existing school which was built in phases between 1912 and 1960. The existing building had heritage value because of its age and presence in the Kitsilano neighbourhood. However, it was also considered a very high seismic risk, with its building system past its service life and is educationally deficient.
The new school accommodates 400 elementary and 40 kindergarten students with strong indoor/outdoor relationships. Additionally, a 1440 square-foot preschool with a capacity of 20 children was added as part of the NLC area allocation. It functions separately from the elementary school; however, the internal connection allows it to use the school facilities when school is not in session.
The layout of the three-storey school creates a learning environment that meets current and future educational needs. The ground floor is dedicated to the communal spaces; Multipurpose Room, Gym, Library and gathering areas defining spaces for sharing. These include the integration of NLC spaces that can be jointly used by the school and the community. The kindergarten cluster and a preschool component is also located on the ground floor. The second and third floor accommodates four Learning Communities. These Learning Communities are four-classroom clusters arranged around a central commons area with small group rooms maximizing learning flexibility.
The architecture of the building seeks to express the characteristics of 21st century education in an elementary school setting.
Model of General Gordon Elementary School.
View of General Gordon Elementary School from the intersection of West 6th Avenue and Bayswater Street.
View of Southwest corner of General Gordon Elementary School. Red brick accents the two-toned metal panels.
General Gordon Elementary School from the playground.
The yellow metal panel and red brick façade reference the original brick buildings materiality, its modern counterpart continuing the familiarity and memory of the original.
View of one of the skylights at mid-day illuminating the stairs.
Northern views in computer labs offer a beautiful view of the Cypress mountains allowing students to have moment of inspiration.
Interior view of the gymnasium.
close up of the view of the glazing pattern in the gymnasium.
"Every community feels a deep sense of ownership for its schools. At 100 years old, General Gordan was a well-loved institution that was to be celebrated. An extensive consultation process contributed to a design that has been praised by educators as well as being embraced by the neighbourhood."