Keppie Design

Keppie Design Appointed for £333m State-of-the-art Aberdeen Exhibition Centre

01-1Architectural practice Keppie Design has been appointed as architect for the new state-of-the-art Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).

Aberdeen City Council has recently approved the financial proposals for the development of the new AECC as well as the redevelopment of the site of the existing conference centre.

Councillors backed the £333m project – a joint venture between the council and Henry Boot Developments – at a full council meeting recently.

Keppie has been selected by Henry Boot as part of the multi-disciplinary team which will deliver the proposed new conference centre at Bucksburn, next to the Rowett Institute, and redevelop the Bridge of Don site which will be vacated once the existing AECC closes.

The new conference centre will form part of the wider development of the Rowett North Masterplan, just south of Aberdeen International Airport.

The masterplan also includes three hotels, an energy centre, an estimated 60,000 square metres of office space and 6,000 square metres of leisure space and open space, parkland, public realm, access routes and car and coach parking.

Richard MacDonald, director at Keppie, said: “Keppie is thrilled to be architect for this unique project and I look forward to realising the vision of creating a world class facility for Aberdeen.”

Nick Harris, Henry Boot’s Scottish director, added:  “The new AECC facility is a vital element of Aberdeen’s future growth and development, not least as a World Energy City and the Energy Capital of Europe.  Therefore, the new conference centre and associated facilities will be developed with the ambition to make it the most sustainable facility of its kind in the UK.

“That is, of course, a tall order but one that we are confident we can meet – especially in conjunction with the project team that we have assembled here.

“It’s vital that creativity and sustainability are key drivers in the project so that the end product will leave a lasting legacy for the city, its residents and the hundreds of thousands of visitors who frequent it each year for both business and leisure.”

Keppie aims to inspire future architects with schools design challenge

Hardeep Singh KohliKeppie Design has called for architects to address the gulf between education and practice as it announced Cumnock Academy as the winner of the top prize at the finale of its ‘Interaction’ challenge.

Run in partnership with East Ayrshire Council and Ayrshire College, Interaction was an enterprise education challenge in which seven secondary schools in East Ayrshire participated. The finale was held in the council chambers and was hosted by TV personality and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli.

In November the pupils were challenged to design an inspirational, flexible and open learning space for the new Ayrshire College campus, which is being built on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock and for which Keppie is the delivery architect.  Using the construction project as the basis for the brief, the college has been acting as a client for the students.

David Ross, design director from Keppie and the creator of Interaction, said: “As part of their business and enterprise programmes, the school pupils have been learning skills and attitudes to help prepare them for the world of work. The Interaction project is a great way to develop those skills and to help create the open, interactive and collaborative learning environment the new college is aspiring to be.

“It has been fantastic to see all of the teams’ incredible design ideas. The judging panel of design professionals, educators and leading business people were genuinely speechless at the quality of the ideas and the polished way in which they were presented. The teams from all of the participating schools are an absolute credit to East Ayrshire and exemplify the mature and innovative way in which learning is delivered in the area.”

The winning design from Cumnock Academy will form the basis of the solution which the college team (including Keppie Design, structural engineer Ramboll, contractor McLaughlin & Harvey and interior designer Space Solutions) will implement, with the winning team remaining part of the process. The next step is to present the design solution to the college’s project board.

The following people made up the judging panel:

  • Hardeep Singh Kohli, TV personality and broadcaster (chair)
  • Professor Christopher Platt, head of Mackintosh School of Architecture
  • Marie Macklin CBE, Ayrshire College Board of Management and CEO of the Klin Group
  • Eileen Mackin, Ayrshire College project team leader
  • Ryan Sylvester, divisional director at Keppie Design and project architect for the new Ayrshire College.

Cumnock Academy demonstrated thinking in a wide variety of areas including furniture, lighting, acoustics and fabrics. The team presented a comprehensive solution that showed a significant amount of background research which included testing the durability of materials, the flow of traffic in the college and accessibility of the space. The team also showed several skills by using video content and the use of modelling software in their presentation.

Professor Christopher Platt, judge and head of Mackintosh School of Architecture, said: “The Interaction project is a fantastic example of schools, higher education and industry working together. Architecture is not taught in schools as a subject so it is increasingly important for firms like Keppie to engage with education to improve how the profession is perceived by those who may go on to become the architects of the future.”

David Ross explained the background to the project and its aspirations: “In general terms, architects engage far less with the communities in which we operate than we’d like to admit, given that listening and communicating with those who experience our work is an essential part of the job. To an extent, this could be as a consequence of a gulf between education and practice which has already been recognised by many educators. By addressing this issue there is an opportunity for architectural practices to become directly involved in changing how the profession is understood and perceived by those who may go on to become the architects of the future.

“What we get from an initiative such as Interaction is a real sense of contribution.  Keppie operates a specific work experience programme that has seen several of those who’ve been through it become full-time employees after their further education courses.  They have been coached in the way we want to work and have therefore made an easy and quick transition into the world of work.  It is my view that more practices need to collaborate with, and support, the wider spectrum of education in order to protect, nurture and ultimately strengthen the profession for the future. That seems like an aspiration worth sharing.”

Keppie wins major UK design award for Orkney school

Stromness PS 2

A primary school designed by architectural practice Keppie has beat off competition from 70 rival projects to win ‘Education Building of the Year’ at the 2014 Society for Construction and Architecture in Local Authorities (SCALA) Awards.

Forming part of the £58 million Orkney Islands Schools Investment Programme, Stromness Primary School in Orkney was built by Morrison Construction.

The new school provides modern and sustainable learning facilities for 200 school children and 30 nursery pupils in a linked building.  The judges noted the building was seen to exhibit “depth of design and management skills” to create a “stylish and practical” solution.

The school’s appearance is a contemporary reflection of the traditional Stromness landscape and is achieved by arranging a series of gable ends facing towards Hamnavoe.  The project team were also able to use locally sourced materials in a nod to the school’s roots and to ensure an ‘Orkney feel’ was created.

The new school, which extends to 2,460 sq m, achieves an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating, accomplished through incorporating renewable energy, natural ventilation, natural daylight, a reduced solar glare, improved bio-diversity and green travel arrangements for staff and pupils.  It is located on a brownfield site to the north of Stromness with outstanding views over Hamnavoe.

The SCALA Awards aim to “inspire and promote the high quality of work carried out in the public sector”, honouring excellence in design and construction.

Peter Moran, director at Keppie Design, which also provided landscape and interior design services for the project, said: “It is fantastic to get this recognition from SCALA.  It is a well-respected award, which demonstrates that our scheme showcases the very best of design in the public sector, and is testament to the efforts of the team.

“One of the main design features of the new school that was noted by the judges was the physical linking of the nursery to the primary school and the incorporation of internal breakout spaces that can be utilised by surrounding classrooms, increasing their flexibility.

“We designed the break-out spaces and activity areas to maximise flexibility whilst minimising corridors and allowing for varying sizes of activities. The teaching clusters, nursery and administrative areas were carefully planned so they can be closed off from the multi-purpose hall, dining and associated facilities to provide an independent community use facility in the evenings.

“Both the project team, and more importantly the school’s pupils and staff, were very pleased with the finished result.”

The school was also shortlisted for the ‘Civic Building of the Year Award’, which is one of the most coveted building design awards in the public sector.

Keppie to design new West Dunbartonshire Council office

The old Dumbarton Burgh Hall - the new council office design will retain this listed façade

The old Dumbarton Burgh Hall – the new council office design will retain this listed façade

A new office building for West Dunbartonshire Council has moved a step closer after Keppie was appointed to design to building on behalf of hub West Scotland.

The development, which will replace the current Garshake Road office, will be located on Castle Street in Dumbarton’s town centre. The project will utilise an existing Grade A listed façade which was formerly part of Dumbarton Burgh Hall and designed by renowned architect William Leiper in 1865.

Keppie has been instructed as design and landscape architects as well as interior designers for the new building, which will enable the council to relocate staff from existing offices throughout Dumbarton and bring them together into one central location.  The project reinforces the council’s commitment to regenerate Dumbarton’s town centre.

Richard MacDonald, director from Keppie, which won the project following a four-way competitive pitch, said: “We are honoured to be designing such an important civic building for the council. We will strive to create a state-of-the-art, energy conscious and efficiently designed office which we hope will be a great place to work.

“This is an important regeneration project for Dumbarton and the redevelopment of this site is a fantastic opportunity to integrate a sympathetic but contemporary solution into the existing urban context.”

The project has many components, including the restoration and conservation of a historical façade, the regeneration of a town centre site and the creation of a 21st century workplace that complements the council’s agile working strategy. It will be sustainable and financially viable for public services for West Dunbartonshire to be delivered from.

Following completion of the final design and approval of all planning requirements, construction is likely to commence on site in autumn 2015 with completion expected in summer 2017.

Plans to revamp former Dundee College campus

Hotel and leisure facilities could be incorporated into a planned transformation of Dundee College’s Constitution Road campus, it has been revealed.

The area has been empty since the college left in 2011 and since then the site has been a target for vandals and thieves.

Now its new owners have started a process to bring life back into the building.

A pre-application notice has been submitted to Dundee City Council by Whiteburn Projects in Edinburgh, which bought the building in April.

It proposes to turn the old college into a mixed-use development, made up of residential apartments and possible commercial uses such as offices, workspaces, retail, hotel and leisure facilities.

The proposal is in the early stages and, if approved, more detailed plans would be required at a later stage.

John Shepherd, managing director of Whiteburn Projects, said as the application is still in its early stages the firm want to keep as many options open as possible.

He told The Courier: “The point of a pre-application notice is to specify as widely as possible to give us options.

“The main option is for residential use for a young, urban population.

“We plan to use the existing building to its best extent and then weave in other facilities like workspaces, bars and restaurants.

“We are preparing some proposals which we are working on at the moment and we should have some exciting suggestions for the public consultation next month.

“Nothing is set in stone but we want to get feedback from the planning department and local residents first.”

Whiteburn Projects specialises in urban, mixed-use regeneration projects and is currently working on the former Parkview school building in Blackness Road.

Architect Keppie Design Limited is working on designs for the Constitution Road development, which will be presented to the public next month.

The company said it was “still fleshing out ideas” for what could be done with the site which is made up of two towers and a podium.

The public consultation event will take place at St Mary Magdalene’s, Dudhope Crescent Road, on Thursday December 11, from 3pm to 8pm.

The event will give people the opportunity to ask questions of the developers and make comments about the plans.

Keppie Design launches Ayrshire College enterprise education initiative

(L-R) Rose Yeats (Stewarton Academy), Charlie Christie (design manager, McLaughlin & Harvey), Jemma Shields (Stewarton Academy), Ryan Sylvester (divisional director, Keppie Design) and Megan Kernaghan (Stewarton Academy) reviewing drawings at the site office of the new Kilmarnock campus of Ayrshire College

(L-R) Rose Yeats (Stewarton Academy), Charlie Christie (design manager, McLaughlin & Harvey), Jemma Shields (Stewarton Academy), Ryan Sylvester (divisional director, Keppie Design) and Megan Kernaghan (Stewarton Academy) reviewing drawings at the site office of the new Kilmarnock campus of Ayrshire College

East Ayrshire Council, in partnership with architectural practice Keppie Design and Ayrshire College, has launched the new brief for Interaction, an enterprise education challenge in which eight secondary schools will participate.

As part of their business and enterprise programmes, youngsters in East Ayrshire secondary schools are learning skills and attitudes to help prepare them for the world of work.  In order to meet that brief Keppie Design developed the Interaction project, which is now in its second year.

This year the pupils are being challenged to design an inspirational, flexible and open learning space for the new Ayrshire College campus, which is being built on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant at Hill Street, Kilmarnock. Using the construction project as the basis for the brief, the college will act as a client for the students. It is an exercise in understanding and promoting new ideas in learning.

Ryan Sylvester, divisional director and head of the team working on the new college from Keppie Design, said: “The new college building is a fantastic example of an open, interactive and collaborative learning environment. In line with the core philosophy of Interaction, each school is invited to propose a design solution to the set challenge.

“The winning design will form the basis of the solution which the college team will implement, with the winning team remaining part of the process.”

There are a series of spaces in the new building which have been identified as ‘curriculum resource’ areas – split over various levels as part of the atrium. These spaces are critical in providing informal active learning environments which support and enhance the more formal teaching spaces directly adjacent to the atrium.

Ryan added:  “In-between space is seen as an integral part of the college’s overall curriculum offer rather than just viewed as transition type areas. As such these spaces need to work hard in providing varied type learning in order to maximise and to reinforce the approach that learning can and should happen anywhere within the building. We are looking for inspirational and vibrant responses but also ideas where it can offer spaces for quieter contemplation.”

Students from the existing Ayrshire College as well as business partners will be working with the schools to help understand the practical considerations of the challenge.

Eileen Mackin, project director for the new Ayrshire College campus and part of the Interaction team, said:  “It is great news that we have the opportunity to get the local schools involved in the project; some of the pupils may even become future students at the college so it is exciting for them to contribute to the design.  So far there has been a huge enthusiasm from all of the schools taking part and we are really excited about getting started and seeing the responses coming through.”

Councillor Stephanie Primrose, spokesperson for Lifelong Learning from East Ayrshire Council, added:  “The Interaction initiative provides a brilliant opportunity for schools to gain hands on experience in being enterprising and allows them to be creative, innovative and cultivate their ideas.  It also develops valuable skills such as team work and problem-solving – which are crucial in any career.”

Following the initial responses to the brief and after feedback from the client (Ayrshire College), the teams will be asked to explore the design concepts further and create models of their ideas.  After selecting their preferred design, each school will work with mentors and the project team from Ayrshire College (including representatives from Keppie Design, structural engineer Ramboll, contractor McLaughlin & Harvey and interior designer Space Solutions) to finalise their design for an external judging panel. The challenge is expected to conclude by March 2015.