Located in Toronto, Canada, The Claude Watson School for the Arts was designed by Kohn Shnier Architects. The building is sited along a secondary road but adjacent to high density, high-rise residential buildings — a hybrid condition that is simultaneously urban and suburban. In response, the project creates a simple and clear form with a strong street presence while providing an image of performance and accessibility. The 50,000 square foot programme includes staff and technical facilities, conventional class rooms, music rooms, drama rooms, art rooms, a small gymnasium and multi purpose room.
The hallway on the lowest level is located entirely on one side, freeing up the rest of the floor plate to create large spaces for the gymnasium and music rooms. This level is slightly sunken into the ground, allowing for higher ceiling levels of the programmes while maintaining the proportion of the building massing.