This is the challenge our architectural team faced while designing the new Willoughby Secondary School in Langley. With a rapidly expanding population, the school district engaged us to design a large 14,000 sqm secondary school to accommodate 1,700 students by 2019.

Community is built when we have opportunities to meet and engage with each other. With the design of this new school we acknowledged learning and socializing are equally important in the lives of students, and that each individual has unique needs. To give students the best experience possible we incorporated a variety of flexible spaces that celebrate these differences and protect the vibrancy of school life.

Rational floor-plans, increased visibility and transparency foster a safe and connected environment that is easy to navigate and supervise. To encourage participation from the larger community we have also located shared facilities in accessible areas that can be closed off for after-hours use.

In our experience, by giving students, staff, and visitors a sense of ownership over these spaces, we help our clients lay the foundation for an active, engaged learning community and citizenry.

This is the case for our past projects including Royal Bay Secondary School, Oak Bay High School and Duchess Park Secondary School. Both faculty and students have credited these innovative, inviting spaces with creating a healthier and happier school community.

"I think this facility here really encourages people to learn and makes people want to learn because of the openness, the lightness. It makes people have a better attitude towards learning because it is such a nice and positive facility.” - Nicole Quast, Oak Bay High School student.

See our similar education projects or email us at to discuss how we can foster community in your school.