Hillhead Primary School

The design allows the new school to act like a window to the River Kelvin to the south and the landscape of the park to the west, maximising the learning opportunities presented by the unique natural setting.

Date

2011

Client

Glasgow City Council

Value

£16m

Our concept developed a building that mediates between the territory of the park and the urbanity of the surrounding neighbourhood. An “urban box” was created to accommodate the dining and games halls, which have the dual purpose of serving the school and community. Set back from the neighbouring building line this urban box edges a civic space including a landmark clock tower. 

Where the building addresses the park, the scale and materiality changes; this is the teaching wing and contains classrooms with large expanses of glass that take in the views of the park. The teaching classrooms gather around a double height, top-lit social area arranged with regimented clarity to emphasise the beauty of the natural surroundings.

A translucent glass clad bridge link links the community building and teaching block and glows in the early morning and evening, making a transient journey between the two territories of the school.

Project gallery

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The Challenge

The new Hillhead Primary School was created to bring together 4 existing primary schools and 2 nursery schools in the West End of Glasgow. All of these schools were Victorian buildings on tight sites within constricted playgrounds, and all had declining pupil numbers.

The Solution

The building is designed to respond to the constraints and strengths of the site. The solution straddles the two contrasting characteristics of the site – the urban front and the garden rear. It locates the teaching spaces in the park to derive maximum learning opportunities presented by the unique natural setting.

The Outcome

The scale and massing of the building’s parts enhance and strengthen the natural and physical qualities of this complex site without compromising the programme for a primary teaching environment. The school enhances the children’s everyday relationship with their community, through the sights and sounds of the environment.

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Locations

Edinburgh

64 Queen Street
Edinburgh
EH2 4NA

0131 464 6100
edinburgh@jmarchitects.net

Glasgow

50 Bell Street
Glasgow
G1 1LQ

0141 333 3920
glasgow@jmarchitects.net

London

Second Floor
37 Alfred Place
London WC1E 7DP

0207 580 5330
london@jmarchitects.net

Manchester

3A, 54 Princess Street
Manchester
M1 6HS

0161 200 6300
manchester@jmarchitects.net