The importance of integrated vision for school design

schools being viewed solely as a place for students to learn in traditional classroom settings. Nowadays modern schools are learning hubs that serve the whole community with their integrated facilities. This transition has not only enriched the experience for students, it has also helped forge meaningful links between schools and communities to the benefit of everyone involved. Students haven’t been the only one’s learning.

Architects too have been taking lessons on how to create the perfect community centric hub. It’s important for organisations to have a fluid space that can easily be used in a flexible way by pupils and the wider community, while maintaining security and privacy. As a result of this shift, government has made


n our second feature this month looking at school maintenance and design, we speak

to Yunming Thomson, design director at Halliday Fraser Munro, who argues for a much more joined-up and holistic approach to school design in this country.

Over the last decade, we’ve seen a drastic shift in how communities are choosing to use the space around them. For example, gone are the days of

investments more readily available for communities that need it. At the same time there is a need to ensure net-zero targets are met, that there’s a strong focus on modern construction methods and that the country is keeping up with the latest technology advancements. A key driver in the design of new community hubs is to maximise efficiencies without increasing costs. This means good school design can not only enhance education but also allows the space to be used in a more efficient manner.

Making spaces work harder With funding requirements placing a heavier emphasis on community engagement and carbon reduction, it’s important that the spaces we


create work harder than ever before to be resourceful and keep running costs down. Inverurie Community Campus, one of the

largest construction projects in Scotland, encompasses this interdisciplinary and holistic teaching approach. As part of the three-phase project, Inverurie Academy, Garioch Community Centre and Inverurie Swimming Pool were all replaced to make way for the new facilities which included four new learning plazas themed around core teaching groups of STEM, the creative arts, literacy and community. Creating a learning spaces requires a greater

degree of imagination as you want to inspire those in it to learn and enjoy themselves. It’s important that we factor in the needs of different students with flexible and multipurpose learning spaces. This allows pupils to come together, join up classes or go into separate break-out areas that support students in self-study. The room layout at Inverurie Community

Campus reflects the latest thinking in curriculum delivery with its bright and modern interior design scheme that links all internal learning spaces. With input from furniture manufacture Deanestor we were able to achieve a good variety of seating and storage options in vibrant colours that worked well visually. Inclusivity was key to this project, not only for

the community but also for the integration of St Andrews School. It allows pupils with varying levels of needs to feel part of the mainstream

June 2021

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