Wallyford Learning Campus

‘A Place for the Community to Meet and Learn Together’

Date

2023

Client

East Lothian Council

Value

£47.2m

Commissioned by East Lothian Council through the Hub South East Scotland, this project comprises the design and construction of a modern education facility which is both flexible and utilised all year round. The first project in Phase 1 of the Scottish Government’s Learning Estate Investment Programme (LEIP) to reach site, the Wallyford Learning Campus provides modern teaching and social spaces for 950 secondary pupils, a 50 pupil severe and complex needs ‘School of Excellence’ alongside a specialist provision Community Hub for Adults with complex needs.

Designed to integrate with the St Clements Wells masterplan and sit firmly and proudly at the heart of its new community, the building will fully engage, support and benefit users through all stages of life.

The Learning Resource Centre, café, ‘Tots and Teens’ crèche, dedicated Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) centre, climbing wall, new community spaces and vast sports facilities will provide activities and services for the entire family and enable parents to engage with employability and up-skilling courses. Designed with intergenerational learning firmly in mind, this new facility will also be a central hub for community services, vital for accessing council services, with support available for those seeking training and employment.

The vision is for the entire building and site to act as a learning space, not just the formal class bases or subject areas. Through integration of modern teaching ‘plazas’ and digital ‘bridges’ offering flexibility and open learning opportunities, the plan ensures that users can see learning happening and provides links to activities that will inspire and bring users from varying backgrounds together.

Externally, through a simple material palette of brick, precast concrete and proprietary profiled metal cladding divided by large expanses of curtain wall, the building takes on a clean, robust and linear aesthetic, sympathetically merging with the landscape and its surroundings and maximising natural light, ventilation and views to the landscape. This approach creates a simple, elegant building with a strong sense of identity; a robust, durable building which is welcoming and warm.

Beyond the façade of the building itself there is a ‘Learning Landscape’. A mix of uses are distributed throughout to encouraging movement and activity from all user groups across the full site. Key to the landscape design is the formation of links to the existing and proposed context of the area to support green routes of travel and safe routes to school.

To maximise the potential as an outdoor learning environment, opportunities have been taken to introduce planting for educational purposes, with the SCN garden in particular being designed as
a sensory experience with plants chosen for their colour, texture, and scent. The south gardens consist of areas for different community user groups to facilitate shared growing areas that will foster a sense of community.

The overall vision is for the building to be more than ‘just a school’, it is a Learning Campus that will cater for pupils and the local community for years to come.

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Edinburgh
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