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Photo courtesy of B+H Architects


Located in the Village of Anmore, the Eagle Mountain Middle School is nestled in the base of the mountains within an idyllic community, which has managed to maintain its semi-rural, natural environment. Bordered by parkland, old growth forests, and lakes, the placement of the building on a former landfill site takes full advantage of its natural surroundings. These links with nature also play a critical role in the education of its students through carefully considered light-filled spaces, which seamlessly integrate into the neighbouring landscape.

Reflecting the middle school curriculum goals for socialization, exploration and the way in which children discover, learn about, and interpret our world, the school focuses on education through interaction. Rather than approach education from the standpoint of ‘teaching’, the school encourages ‘learning’ for its students and this is reflected in our design. In much the same manner, our approach was the result of discovery and interpretation of data to develop a three-level design solution that provides a learning-based environment conceived through the eyes of the students. [1]

The underlying goal of the new middle school design is to create an environment for learning that captivates the imagination of the students and actively encourages exploration and growth. The space intends to simultaneously stimulate teachers, staff and visitors through their experience within the school. The result is a design that creates a series of carefully considered, light-filled spaces which seamlessly integrate into the natural landscape. (…)

Inspiration for the building massing and formal architectural character of the new school has evolved by means of an abstracted derivative produced through interpretation of intrinsic geometry that is evident in the natural world. This is readily apparent in areas where receding mountain ranges vanish into obscurity as the foreground mountains remain backlit and left as a stark silhouette. The abstraction of these innate natural forms has informed the manner in which the building has been shaped and carved to receive natural daylight, and to respond to solar orientation and the environment, all while creating a diminutive building profile that recedes into the natural milieu. [2]

Featuring a steeply sloped three-level tiered design, the main classrooms, and media centre are arranged around an elevated central courtyard, which has been set one storey above the gymnasium and exploration level. The common courtyard is a space for exploration where students discover and interpret lessons learned from the classroom through direct and hands-on application. The lower level support spaces and gymnasium, the intermediate level healthy living area and shops, and the upper level classrooms and courtyard, are all connected by a stepped central hall that acts as a primary gathering space, forming the heart of the school. [1]

2011 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence


[1]      “Eagle Mountain Middle School.” B+H Architects, August 17, 2017. https://bharchitects.com/en/project/eagle-mountain-middle-school/.

[2]      “West Coast Middle School.” Canadian Architect, November 30, 2011. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/west-coast-middle-school/.


Additional information:

“Eagle Mountain Middle School.” Education + Institution, August 14, 2017.


“Eagle Mountain Middle School.” School District No. 43 (Coquitlam). Accessed August 30, 2021. https://www.sd43.bc.ca/school/EagleMountain/Pages/default.aspx#/=.


“West Coast Middle SCHOOL Anmore, British Columbia.” SlidePlayer. Accessed August 30, 2021. https://slideplayer.com/slide/708023/.


Project Title: Eagle Mountain Middle School
Artists: B+H Architects
Year: 2015

Place: Anmore, British Columbia

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