North Kelvinside Primary School
Brick Manufacturers: Northcot Brick
Brick Name: Broadway Buff
Architect: Property & Consultancy Services - NRS - Glasgow City Council
Contractor: Ellmoll Builders Limited
About the project
North Kelvinside Primary School, in the Northwest of Glasgow is an £18m state-of-the-art new build project providing for up to 330 pupils which creates a new focal point in the local community.
The school’s design reflects the desire to build partnerships and to harmonise with the existing community. It offers light, bright and highly flexible learning spaces as an engaging environment for positive learning experiences, whilst providing the opportunity for extra-curricular and community activities.
The four-storey building on a sloping site involved close collaboration between Glasgow City Council’s Consultancy Services team, Education Services and the local community as well as the Council’s in-house construction partner, City Building Contracts.
The front of the building is set on the street edge, presenting an urban public face with a brick design that blends in with the surrounding built environment. This creates shelter and privacy to the playground areas behind.
The contemporary design is centred around a large light-filled atrium, at the heart of the building, which links the shared/community use block on the lower level with the education block on the upper level.
The upper school block incorporates traditional classrooms, and a range of flexible breakout spaces for independent learning opportunities. The hub of this teaching block is a generous top lit ‘feature seating stair’ linking each storey to multimedia facilities and an enterprise kitchen. The lower community block offers access to a 4-court sports hall, a raised drama stage and various bookable meeting spaces.
Externally the school is provided with a varied and interesting playground incorporating an 11-a-side community use all weather pitch; a re-surfaced Multi Use Games Area; traditional play spaces; a woodland learning area; and a ‘Gateway Garden’ which is shared with the adjacent nursery.
Integral to the school’s harmonisation with its local context was the brickwork design. The building is clad in 117,000 Northcot Broadway Buff bricks - a perforated, wirecut facing brick traditionally fired to create a light colour and texture. Various brick bonding and detailing techniques are also used to add interest and definition to the facades.
The main entrance is defined by a brick colonnade with brick faced soffit cladding panels, suggesting that the colonnade has been moulded from solid brick. This colonnade signifies the civic entrance and provides solar shading to the West facing games
halls. In addition, stack bonded soldier courses are applied at the head of the community block to provide definition to the large mass of the sports hall.
Projecting brick courses are applied to the western public elevation. At ground level these draw the public towards the building entrance. This technique was also applied to the northwest corner of the building with the projections wrapping around the corner, bridging the public/private divide adjacent to the main pupil entrance to the playground.
In the afternoon and evening the shadows cast by the colonnade and projecting courses enliven the façade and provide a constantly changing frontage to the building.
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