Elementary school École Mer-et-montagne is a Francophone school in Campbell River built to replace the existing school on site, which had approached the end of its service life. The Douglas-fir ceiling joists throughout the old building and the original gymnasium are remaining serviceable relicts salvaged from the old building, keeping the existing school’s legacy and spirit alive in its replacement. The inclusion of wood in the school helps to create a welcoming and effective learning space. In the last few decades, many studies have shown that exposure to nature has positive impacts such as the lowering of stress levels and the improvement of cognitive performance, concentration skills and creativity.
Douglas-fir timbers are used throughout the walls, roofs, eaves and columns, creating continuity and warmth throughout the space. In the old school building, the heavy timbers were previously hidden by the acoustic tile ceiling. The timbers were left exposed in the new build to display the resource’s natural beauty.