Kearns Mancini’s design for the addition to Pleasant Public School in Thornhill, Ontario, was one which responded to the need of a single storey, one room addition that would accommodate a full day kindergarten expansion. The design sought to create a building that seamlessly integrates itself into the existing school in order to foster a strong communal relationship among all the students.
As part of the Ontario Ministry of Education’s initiative, a full day Kindergarten program was implemented at Pleasant Public School in an effort to help working parents with the aids of increased child care and educational services. As a result, an expansive addition housing a full-day kindergarten space was needed and its integration into the exisitng fabric of the school was a significant goal of the project. Part of the design also involved the improvement of the existing adjacent kindergarten classrooms, washrooms and cubby areas, as they too are used within the full day kindergarten program.
288 Pleasant Avenue, Thornhill, Ontario
Gross Project Area
Toronto District School Board
Tony Mancini, Danny Pressacco
Axonometric of building addition
The building addition was located adjacent to the existing kindergarten classrooms in order to maximize the connectivity of both kindergarten spaces. The group of classrooms form an enclave, each having its own interior and exterior entrances, as a means to improve accessibility to the space. The location of the addition was deliberately positioned outwards from the existing building footprint in order to create a courtyard that is framed by the addition and two existing sides of the building. The new courtyard is used as a dedicated playground for the children attending kindergarten.
As a method to respond sensitively to the existing building, the proportions of the new addition resonate with the design of the current school. The window sizes and overhangs of the new building mimic that of the existing facade in an effort to create a cohesive building appearance.
Moreover, the building addition was conceptualized as a project that would not only address the client’s principle intent of adding classroom area, but also to contribute to the remainder of the school. The addition enhances the existing building entrance with an overhang to the east of the addition, providing a canopy which acts as a bus shelter for students waiting at the entrance.
This simple yet effective gesture provides visual hierarchy for the entrance to the school, and creates a beacon towards the street front.
View from drop-off zone
The construction schedule was the most challenging facet of this project, as the building addition was required to be occupied for the upcoming school year. Kearns Mancini was readily available and promptly responsive to any and all construction issues and conflicts, avoiding delays in administration in order to better keep the contractor on schedule. Their management of other consultants and of the contractor was a significant factor in the successful outcome of the project.