Giant Steps School
Resource and training centre
A leader in the provision of services supporting the education and success of people with autism spectrum disorders, Giant Steps opened a second establishment at Technopôle Angus, in the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie borough.
A meticulous, highly individualized, and interdisciplinary approach led to the design of an adapted school, as a traditional school concept could not apply. Integrating both a specialized school and a research centre, the project is located on a former industrial brownfield that has been transformed into a vibrant, cutting-edge neighbourhood.
Candidate for a Silver LEED v4 Certification
Giant Steps School
The site’s architecture is thus expressed as a concave curve that shields the inner courtyard and closes up at the site’s rear embankment. Vertically, the structure is defined by multiple storeys deployed in step-like fashion, opening up the courtyard space.
The entrance leads directly to the school’s core, creating a visual link with the courtyard, the school’s focal point. A corridor contours the building’s massing; a shifting space, it gives rise to different areas that open up and then close. Its path creates a continuous link between the classrooms that line the exterior facades of the common spaces and the inner courtyard. In addition, an opening in the atrium allows light to penetrate to the core of the school and acts as an important point of reference.
Quality spaces and ambiance
The layout of the classrooms and common spaces meets a number of design criteria: organizational logic; adaptability to the user; neutral, easily adaptable sensory zoning; compartmentalization of the spaces by function and activity, characterized by sensory differentiation among them; spatial and sensory transitions between high-stimulus and low-stimulus zones; and optimized safety, through the avoidance of sharp edges in favour of curved surfaces.
Giant Steps school integrates with style the values of Technopôle Angus and embodies the innovation at the heart of its achievements.