The Montcrest School Redevelopment is an adaptive reuse project that spans three neighbouring heritage-listed homes acquired by the independent school over the last 50 years. The challenge put to the architects for this project was how to evolve the School’s infrastructure without compromising its distinguishing culture, character or community. The architectural solution addresses the need for functionally larger spaces without losing the intimate quality of the houses. Rooms within the heritage houses were converted to smaller break-out rooms and administrative offices, and a new infill volume was erected to provide right-sized classrooms for art, music, and science as well as other programs the heritage house-forms are unable to accommodate.
This project was about upholding Montcrest’s commitment to its core values, creating a school that feels like home, while also creating spaces better suited to 21st century education. The design scheme retains and rehabilitates all heritage-house forms and the smaller spaces therein that cultivate a familiar and nurturing sense of place. It provides an addition with larger, more flexible spaces that improve the day-to-day functions of the School, better serve the different needs and preferences of students, and bolster opportunities for outreach events, family nights and faculty socials. Finally, it gives renewed visibility to the School within its urban context.
The design was careful to minimize any disturbance to the ravine edge and to establish a visual connection that ties the buildings to the natural beauty of the site. The project revitalizes important pieces of Toronto’s architectural heritage, while also adding a glazed face that animates the street and communicates the vibrancy within. This visual connection unfolds onto a new forecourt and pedestrian-friendly entrance for students further enhancing the School’s street presence and contributing to larger streetscape improvement efforts. Connections to the neighbourhood park and community garden allow opportunities for local partnerships and outdoor learning to continue to flourish.
Material Used :
1. Thames Valley Brick – Dark Ironspot, Modular Smooth
2. Stonequest – Peribonka Black Granite
3. PPG – Duranar XL Plus, Aluminum Compostite Panel finish, Mica MZG Grey + Mica Champagne
4. Certainteed, perforated acoustical drywall ceiling, Gyptone BIG Sixto 65
5. EzoBord, Acoustical wall panel, EzoBord sheets Silver Grey