Woodhead Primary School Hamilton, South Lanarkshire Primary Building, Architect
Woodhead Primary School : Hamilton Education Building
South Lanarkshire Education Project design by RMJM Architects, Scotland
8 May 2012
Woodhead Primary School, South Lanarkshire
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 Hamilton
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
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