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Primary finery for Hillhead

February 18 2009

Primary finery for Hillhead
JM Architects have secured planning approval for the new Hillhead Primary School on Gibson Street, Glasgow.

Located within the heart of the west end conservation area, the school will subsume the present lunar landscape of craters, mud and the odd abandoned vehicle that is euphemistically referred to as a car park.

Ditching the PPP/PFI model which has come in for so much stick from some quarters the council have plumped for a traditional design and build contract, last employed at Hazelwood School.

Certainly the results here as there seem to speak for themselves with a refreshing geometric playfulness more akin to a lottery funded cultural centre.

The street is addressed via a sandstone wall that encloses a courtyard play area before deflecting inwards to provide breathing space for a sweeping cascade of steps, this elegant parallelism of lines creates a natural sense of depth and culmination at the primary entrance.

Doubtless this is intended as an external break out space and published perspectives duly depict content punters reclining in the sun, further focus is accorded by a sculptural window overlooking proceedings and any untoward antics that might otherwise be attempted.

Despite such architectural aplomb, particularly in such a long suffering arena as educational provision, the issue of height (or lack thereof) is a bone of contention.  The low slung school is dwarfed by its neighbours, choosing instead to slink from prominence in a back seat capacity.

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