Lord Nelson Elementary School & Childcare
Lord Nelson elementary school accommodates 450 students in a two-storey facility, with a rooftop childcare centre owned by the City of Vancouver.
To facilitate the continued operation of the existing school building (which occupied the centre of the site prior to its demolition) – and rather than complicating the project with elaborate construction phasing and temporary accommodation – we took on the challenge of a more direct approach: by innovating a new, rigorously efficient elementary school typology that houses a forward-looking 21st century learning environment within the tight area available at the east end of the site.
The 20 classrooms are organized in 5 pods. Each pod consists of 4 classrooms, a shared common area (known as the classroom commons), a professional room to support team teaching, and a small group activity room. Aside from minor differences (to accommodate structure or special conditions), the pods are identical and stacked atop one another for efficiency of construction, circulation and cost.
The efficient scheme allowed the budget to accommodate high quality materials and playful elements inside and out, such as the main stairway in the school commons, with its nod to navigation in honour of Lord Nelson, and the 2 exterior stairs/slides which provide direct connectivity between the second storey classroom pods and exterior grounds.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd.
Michael Elkan & McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd.