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Historic Dundee post office to be turned into visual and performing arts base

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November 20 2015

Historic Dundee post office to be turned into visual and performing arts base
The High School of Dundee has submitted plans for the conversion of the city’s former General Post Office to accommodate a visual and performing arts centre.

Serving as a home for the schools art, music, drama and home economics departments the development will incorporate a range of studio, performance and practice spaces as well as a signature spiral staircase which will be cast in-situ.

Page\Park Architects have been appointed to oversee the work, which calls for restoration and conversion of the existing building alongside construction of a feature entrance and circulation space on the site of a 1960s loading bay.

The most visible sign of change will be the addition of a pre-cast concrete clad extension designed to project a modern image of the school to the city whilst completing a corner block.

In their design statement the architects said: “We have chosen to introduce two monolithic slabs to define the corner, embedding the new building within its context whilst matching the weight and permanence of the existing buildings. Metaphorically these two slabs represent the anchoring of the schools traditional values of hard work and self-discipline whilst echoing the rigour and order of the main school building’s classical form.

“These external walls conceal the more delicate and fluid structure of the spiral stair behind which is divided into a series of landings that rise up to offer various breakout and teaching spaces. The structure of the stair is gradually revealed beneath the north-facing stepped stone wall and as the building turns the corner at Euclid Street it rises up to offer a full-height grid of stepped platforms and views back towards the main school.”

Work to complete the new centre is expected to carry through until 2020.
The new extension will serve as a modern front door for the historic school
The new extension will serve as a modern front door for the historic school

3 Comments

Alan Gilzean
#1 Posted by Alan Gilzean on 20 Nov 2015 at 12:23 PM
From reading the Design Statement, what a well-considered and thought-through design. Distant echoes of RV & DSB's Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery.

Whatever else one may think, at least it's an example of that rare thing, architecture (and not the usual assemblage of industrialised components).

Applause.
BaldAsACoot
#2 Posted by BaldAsACoot on 20 Nov 2015 at 15:04 PM
Cracking!

That and the DC Thompson refurb will really lift the area.

Well done Dundee (again)
John
#3 Posted by John on 23 Nov 2015 at 13:17 PM
"Metaphorically these two slabs represent the anchoring of the schools traditional values of hard work and self-discipline whilst echoing the rigour and order of the main school building’s classical form."

Scraping the barrel with that line. Visually - it looks like it should have NEXT or H&M along the front of it.

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