Fairview Elementary School

Location: Red Deer, Alberta

Completed: 1975

Fairview Elementary School was designed with a novel concept to provide for the needs of 191 children from grades one through six. Classrooms were grouped on two and three sides of a central courtyard, with administrative offices on the fourth side. The exterior walls of the classrooms are free of windows, in order to free up the maximum possible wall surface for chalk boards and pin-up space, and to minimize heat loss and protect against prairie winter drafts. However, the rooms are not without an abundance of natural light; all classrooms have windows facing into the central courtyard, as well as large clerestory windows which splash sunlight into the center of each room.

Despite its innovative and well-liked designed, the school was built for a competitive price - a direct result of the careful thought given to its simple detailing.