Holmes Miller up for four accolades at flagship schools design awards
Architecture firm Holmes Miller is in with a top chance of clinching another accolade, with four projects up for the Learning Places Scotland Awards later this month.
Held in partnership with the Scottish Government, the event celebrates excellence and achievement in education, recognising the consultants, contractors, architects and clients involved in education projects, as well as innovation and sustainability.
Holmes Miller has been designing educational buildings for four decades, with a more recent focus on sustainable and Passivhaus design.
The company has been named a finalist in the ‘Architectural Practice of the Year’ category at the awards, in recognition of its outstanding work on educational projects.
Its three new primary school designs for City of Edinburgh Council – Frogston Primary, Canaan Lane Primary and Victoria Primary – are in the running for the ‘Pupil/Student Experience’ award, while Victoria Primary is also shortlisted for ‘Project of the Year’.
The designs of the three Edinburgh schools were developed based on feedback from the buildings’ users and local communities, and include outdoor learning areas and flexible spaces between classrooms where pupils from different classes can interact, and teachers can collaborate.
The practice’s design for Renton Campus in West Dunbartonshire - an innovative new primary, early years facility and language and communication unit which prioritises outdoor learning - is also a finalist in the ‘Innovation in Delivering Value’ category.
Renton provides stimulating outdoor learning spaces, despite the constraints of its small site, through appealing rooftop play areas that can be accessed directly from indoor teaching spaces. A variety of external features have also been installed to encourage physical activity and boost creative thinking.
Ruaridh Nicol, associate at Holmes Miller has been invited to speak at the Learning Places Scotland conference, taking place on the same day as the awards, about the pioneering design of Renton Campus.
Craig Heap, director at Holmes Miller said: “We are extremely proud of the designs of all four schools recognised at these awards, especially as their plans were developed in close consultation with the local communities where they are located.
“We were lucky to have been working with two forward-thinking clients in City of Edinburgh and West Dunbartonshire Councils, who continually challenge the traditional ways of thinking about learning and teaching to create facilities that will significantly enhance the educational experience of their local children.
“To be named a finalist in the Architectural Practice of the Year is also a real honour, and is the culmination of lots of work at Holmes Miller from our team, our investment in relationships and continued design excellence.”
The winners will be announced at an event on 15 November.