H. Bradford Green Architect Incorporated has been involved in a variety of projects since being established in 1983.

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Fort Albany First Nation School And Community Complex

The firms of H. Bradford Green Architect Inc. and ANO Architects Inc. with UMA Resource Engineering combined to meet the needs of the Fort Albany First Nation in the design and tender of an Education and Community Complex.

This 54,000-sq.ft. facility was designed for a community of 900 on the James Bay Coast. The new school accomodates up to 333 Kindergarten to Grade 12 students. The school contains a Day Care, two kindergartens, 11 classrooms and rooms for multi-purpose use, library/resource centre, auditorium/gymnasium, gym support, home economics, industrial arts, science administration, staff, educational storage and health. There is also a classroom dedicated to Post-Secondary Education.

The school is more than simply a box to house students; it acts as a focus for the community. It will also allow families who have moved away to be with their children while they receive secondary education to return home. In this way, the education complex is envisioned as more of a community learning centre with various groups sharing facilities through appropriate design and after-hours scheduling.

The main corridor follows a gentle curve, creating interest and avoiding an otherwise straight and boring hallway. The structure of the school is exposed, revealing the Glu-laminated wood columns and beams giving the interior a warm, friendly atmosphere. A central story-telling area outside of the Resource center acts as an interior focal point for the school upon entering the main entrance.

The exterior courtyard will become a focus for the community and the school. The landscaping is as unique as the school. A wood boardwalk surrounds a fire pit, and coloured concrete walkways lead to this outdoor ceremonial space. Overhead, a stainless steel cable 'dream catcher' is suspended on specially designed timber poles. Undulating concrete retaining walls suggest water of the nearby Albany River and mark the transition of grade down to a series of stone mounds created from local river stone. This exterior space can be used year-round by both school and community.

The Community Hall was incorporated into the building by using the ceiling of the programmed space below as a floor and the roof of the Gym and Shop area above. By carefully designing and locating the Community Hall we were able to provide the maximum amount of space for the limited funding available for that element. This space looks into the Gym and is available for use during tournaments, Feasts and Festivals.

The Broad Base Technology area will be programmed for all levels of education including Post-Secondary. This area serves age appropriate groups within the school in addition to providing Post-Secondary training for students, eliminating necessity of leaving the community.

Project Details:

  • Client: Fort Albany First Nation
  • Project Size: 54,000 sq. ft.
  • Project Value: $14,000,000
  • Contractor: Penn-Co Construction
  • Completed: November 2001
  • Location: Fort Albany First Nation

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