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The Strawberry Vale School is located in a semi-rural community. The program includes 16 classrooms, a gymnasium, a library, and other spaces typical of an elementary school.


2002 – Governor General’s Medal
1995 – Progressive Architecture Award
1994 – Canadian Architect Award

An important feature of the site is a Garry Oak woodland, a rare and threatened species of tree. The classrooms are arranged alongside the woodland, so that the woodland is preserved and its importance emphasized through visual connection. The classrooms are grouped in pods, which creates a series of in-between spaces, both interior and exterior, that support a wide variety of activities. In addition to responding to conventional programmatic requirements, the school gives architectural form to environmental forces. The hydrology of the site is carefully developed. Rainwater from the building is collected and discharged into a linear watercourse, where it is carried to a shallow marsh and naturally cleansed by the water plants.

Heating and lighting systems are designed, using computer modeling techniques, to optimize the use of solar energy: through passive heat gain, and, through the controlled placement of windows, clerestories, and skylights combined with reflective interior surfaces to distribute sunlight evenly throughout the interior spaces.

Materials for the building are selected to maximize environmental quality and minimize the amount of embodied energy. For this reason cladding’s have been kept to a minimum leaving much of the primary construction exposed.

Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Client: Greater Victoria School District

Architect: Patkau Architects Inc.

Project Team: Grace Cheung, Michael Cunningham, Michael Kothke, Timothy Newton, John Patkau, Patricia Patkau, David Shone, Peter Suter, Allan Teramura, John Wall, Jacqueline Wang

Structural: C. Y. Loh Associates Ltd.
Mechanical: D. W. Thomson Consultants Ltd.
Electrical: Reid Crowther & Partners Ltd.
Civil: Duncan & Associates Engineering Ltd.
Landscape architect: Moura Quayle / Lanark Consultants Ltd.
Geotechnical: Thurber Engineering Ltd.
Fire protection: Gage-Babcock & Associates
Costing: BTY Group
Acoustics: Barron Kennedy Lyzun & Associates Ltd.
Materials: Environmental Research Group, University of British Columbia School of Architecture
Specifications: Susan Morris Specifications
Signage: Vaitkunas Design Inc.

Contractor: JCR Construction