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Ryder submit plans for new Shetland High School

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April 28 2014

Ryder submit plans for new Shetland High School
Ryder Architecture has submitted plans to build a new Anderson High School at Lerwick on the Shetland Islands following completion of a public consultation exercise into the delivery of a 1,180 pupil school and neighbouring halls of residence.

Occupying a sensitive site the school seeks to adapt the deep plan ‘superblock’ school favoured by the Scottish Futures Trust (last seen at Eastwood High and The Lasswade Centre) to the harsh local climate.

This sees the flat roofs employed at both pilot schools dispensed with in favour of a traditional pitched roof to minimise the effects of frequent driving rain and gale force winds, whilst referencing the individual agricultural structures which pepper the island landscape.

Consisting of twin wings the school centres on a triple height atrium space and support spine enveloped by a sequence of classrooms facing the external façade.

Clad in timber upon a masonry concrete base the scheme is intended to be robust and durable whilst evoking the feel of a traditional barn.

In their design statement Ryder remarked: “Visually, the timber cladding provides relief from the solidity of the base element, and also results in the apparent scale of the building being reduced. From the south and west, the building will be read as a three storey structure placed on a landscaped plinth. By using boards in differing sizes and orientations on the main elevations with expressed panels, visual interest is maintained at medium and close ranges as the texture becomes apparent as the building is approached.

”In time, the aluminium of the roof will oxidise to a more matt finish while the timber of the walls will weather to s silver grey, further integrating the building into its setting.”

The new school is scheduled for completion in August 2016.
Rock excavated during ground clearance will be repuposed for landscaping
Rock excavated during ground clearance will be repuposed for landscaping
The new school will make use of assisted natural ventilation, thermal mass and night time cooling
The new school will make use of assisted natural ventilation, thermal mass and night time cooling


#1 Posted by stephen on 28 Apr 2014 at 16:47 PM
That's got potential. Bit of a brute but that's a different argument entirely and not really Ryder's fault. Anyone else think schools should be smaller? Too many kids and they just become anonymous.
#2 Posted by neil on 28 Apr 2014 at 19:26 PM
Stephen - I think it would be difficult to make a high school work with much less than 1,000 pupils as you need enough to be able to offer a wide range of subjects - particularly at the higher levels. However, the "superblock" does seem to make a single unnecessary large mass. I do wonder if a cluster of blocks (whether connected or detached) would be more humane in scale as well as allowing far more flexibility for changing future requirements.
#3 Posted by pat on 29 Apr 2014 at 14:27 PM
That's quite an interesting random assemblage of barn doors - not unlike Portree High in its monolithic form.
#4 Posted by stephen on 29 Apr 2014 at 17:36 PM
Fair point Neil; presumably by 'difficult' you mean 'more costly'. I think it's worth the investment to create nurturing and close-knit communities rather than intimidating kid-farms.
Either way I think this looks a decent scheme on balance.

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