Better by design

12th August 2005 at 01:00
YEAR 1 St John's Primary, Alloa, Clackmannanshire Architect: Nord

A well-designed and appreciated B-listed school, St John's Primary is now more than 100 years old. Few of the classrooms can accommodate active learning, such as the expressive arts. So it was decided to create a spatial laboratory in a classroom on the first floor, with the pupils presenting their ideas through a series of workshops.

Kilsyth Academy, North Lanarkshire Architects: Neil Mochrie, Malcolm Fraser

The school was designed by Sir Basil Spence, one of Scotland's most notable architects, in the 1930s and officially opened in 1954. Its design concept has since been undermined by a series of extensions. The school linked up with The Lighthouse in the early stages of a major refurbishment, launching an in-depth project to work out how the application of new design thinking can support changes in learning style and increase the school's use as a community resource. The aim is to turn it into an expressive arts specialist.

Grange Campus, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire Designer: TT3 Arts, Tassy Thompson

The campus, which currently includes Grange Academy and Annanhill Primary, is to be expanded with a new public-private partnership build to accommodate Park School for pupils with special needs. The landscaping project team focused on circulation around the grounds, plus social and learning areas that would suit different users, while drawing the communities of the three schools together.

Alford Academy, Aberdeenshire Designer: LWD, Sam Booth

Aberdeenshire had Alford Academy pencilled in for the next phase of public-private partnership development before The Lighthouse joined, but was more than willing to let pupils get involved with the design. The project outline was to rethink the classrooms. The students visited other sites and in workshops designed their own. "It was such a new experience that everyone was so motivated. Not only was it exciting and great fun, but it helped us have an idea how real designers work and how they moved along with the project," said one S3 pupil.

YEAR 2 Sir E ScottSchool, Tarbert, Harris, Western Isles

Landscape architect: Lisa McKenzie The project team is looking at how to incorporate the outside environment into the curriculum.

Elgin High and Greenwards Primary, Moray

Designer: Katty Barac, One Foot Taller Unusually, this project focused on an event in the pupils' lives and looked at how design could impact on it.

The focus was the transition from primary to secondary school, picking up on the areas where children felt most vulnerable. The toilets were considered the worst, so the designers worked with the children to create facilities that seemed less threatening and more private. Sight lines were cleared, toilets were given complete doors and cleanliness was prioritised.

Dunblane High, Stirling Architect: JM Architect

Like Alford Academy, Dunblane High is well down the PPP route, but S4 students were able to feed into the detailed design. They worked in groups on the creation of a multi-use social space that allowed flexibility with minimum furniture moving. Two pupils then did their work placements at the architects' office and developed their ideas.


Due to begin this month

St Andrew's Art Centre, Galashiels, Scottish Borders

This project will look at developing the centre as a creative hub of learning in a rural area.

Islay High, Bowmore, Argyll and Bute

Still in its very early stages, this project is expected to look at sustainability.

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