Every building starts out with a vision but as the design develops the aesthetic changes. Down at Wallyford Learning Campus many factors have driven change in the design from amended briefs, cost constraints, buildability, regulations, and general coordination but the design team have worked hard throughout to retain our original vision and, in some areas, made small moves to improve the overall aesthetic whilst simplifying the construction. In the run up to handover this summer we would like to share with you some of our visualisation verses the reality of what has been achieved on this project.

The buildings main entrance is orientated to address the main spine road of the St Clements wells masterplan. East Lothian Councils vision for their new building is that it sits firmly and proudly at the heart of the community. Through discussions with Morrison Construction, full height curtain wall was introduced in favour of cantilevering thin bands of brick work and the introduction of large format windows with an increased head height helped form a strong civic presence on a prominent corner.

A change in regulations called for previously specified polycarbonate cladding to be replaced with curtain walling which in turn put pressure on the projects budget. This resulted in the redesign of the STEAM centre elevation to incorporate tall, glazed screens which mimic large metal grid windows throwing natural light deep into the plan. Together with the brick base course and metal clad walls this gives the home of the new Construction Skills Academy a more industrial aesthetic to reflect the activities inside.

Internally the design seeks to maximise the availability of usable space. Wide corridors lined with storage walls offer a range of breakout spaces which are flooded with natural light from above whilst the doors of cupboards offer a write on surface for brainstorming. Following extensive workshops with designers from Spacezero and ELC an interior strategy was formed which reflects the professional environment and biophilic principles desired for the building. As works progress, finishes begin to be applied and the FFE fit out commences, although not yet finished you can see from the original visualisation that the design intent for the business education suite has been retained.

Imagery Credit: External Visualisations – Nick Dalgety / Internal Visualisations – SpaceZero / Site Photos – jmarchitects

Credit: Adelle Jess, jmarchitects Edinburgh

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