Woodhead Primary School Hamilton, South Lanarkshire Primary, Building, Architect

Woodhead Primary School : Hamilton Education Building

South Lanarkshire Education Project, Scotland – design by RMJM

8 May 2012

Woodhead Primary School Hamilton

Woodhead Primary School, South Lanarkshire

Design: RMJM

RMJM was appointed in 2010 as part of the ongoing SLC Framework Agreement to design and deliver a new building for Woodhead Primary School in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire. The new school was a tandem build on the playground and playing fields of the existing school. The existing school was only built in 1978, however, this was in a state of disrepair and the accommodation was unsuitable for the curriculum.

Woodhead Primary School Woodhead Primary School Woodhead Primary School Woodhead Primary School
photos © Keith Hunter Photography

The design solution for the 3500m2, 14 classroom school (part of a larger two-phase scheme, which incorporates additional classrooms and nursery) was the creation playful distinctive form aligned with Hamilton town centre and the panoramic views beyond, and an integral boundary wall inspired by Mackintosh’s Scotland Street School to separate the public realm on arrival from the private areas such as classrooms and the playground.

The requirement for a tandem build, with the existing school remaining in full operation during construction and the limited site area available, resulted in a three storey solution. The building’s open plan shared areas – Library, ICT& General Purpose Areas – are brought together in the heart of the school and are open to circulation spaces. This allows several spaces to be supervised by teachers either directly or passively, creates a sense of generous space, allows views through the building and communication /connection between spaces.

This change away from separate rooms benefited the school in many ways, including allowing the omission of costly, energy-intensive air conditioning plant, which would otherwise have been required to service the ICTsuite. The large volumes of the school were grouped vertically providing a “penthouse” Dining Room with views out across Hamilton.

Other important factors were improvements to internal supervision, maximising natural ventilation and natural daylight to provide a healthy environment and, by using a fire engineered solution, to provide main circulation routes that were fully accessible and barrier free. The elevational treatment was reinforced in the landscaping and interior with graphics to the central objects mirroring the autumnal woodland theme of the envelope.

Woodhead Primary School Hamilton images / information from Keith Hunter Photography


Cairns Primary School, South Lanarkshire – also designed by RMJM
Cairns Primary School Cairns Primary School Cairns Primary School Cairns Primary School
photos © Keith Hunter Photography

Another Hamilton building:

Hamilton Library
Coltart Earley Architects
Hamilton Library
image from architects

Hamilton Townhouse Library

Glasgow Primary Schools
Govan Primary School Building
photo © Keith Hunter

Hillhead Primary School
Hillhead Primary School
photo : Andrew Lee

Glasgow School of Art

Hamilton Hotel

Glasgow Schools
Hazelwood School
photo : Andrew Lee

Comments / photos for the Woodhead Primary SchoolHamilton Education Building page welcome

Woodhead Primary School Hamilton – page