This building is a school, but also a community centre where all the collective spaces are open to the public.
The project is situated in an old pine forest. The pine needles that cover the ground actually inspired the design. The building opens up to the surrounding nature and integrates itself effortlessly into the landscape. The school was constructed after all existing trees had been surveyed and mapped out. This exercise made it possible to position the 1500 m2 building, the access road, an exterior court and some parking spaces in such a way that no more than 10 trees had to be cut down during construction.
Helping an endangered culture by promoting the education of children in their own native language was a key issue in this project. The circular volume used for story-time responds to the importance of this ritual in the Mohawk culture. The second large volume is the multi-functional room housing the gym of the school. These two main spaces are connected by a curved corridor, shaped by a sequence of different spaces, reproducing the experience of a path through a forest.