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Midlothian Council reveals plans for £30m Newbattle Centre

November 18 2014

 Midlothian Council reveals plans for £30m Newbattle Centre
Midlothian Council has revealed plans drawn up by Cooper Cromar architects for a £30m replacement Newbattle Community High School.

Located opposite the current building at Mayfield Complex, Easthouses, the scheme comprises of three distinct elements; an entrance block, teaching wing and community facility which will include a gym and swimming pool.

Dubbed a ‘community hub’ the centre follows the example set by the Lasswade Centre and provides a six lane swimming pool and health suite, fitness rooms, enhanced library, community rooms, multi-purpose hall (incorporating a theatre and cinema), internet cafe and art facilities.

The Scottish government is contributing £17m toward the cost of the build with the remainder being sourced from Midlothian Council.

Work on the new school will begin early in 2015 for completion by August 2016.
Newbattle follows a template laid down at the Lasswade Centre
Newbattle follows a template laid down at the Lasswade Centre
Published plans are indicative at this stage and may be subject to further change
Published plans are indicative at this stage and may be subject to further change

The centre will be split into three key elemts
The centre will be split into three key elemts


#1 Posted by Raeburn on 18 Nov 2014 at 17:32 PM
this is really bad
Ian Nairn Jr
#2 Posted by Ian Nairn Jr on 18 Nov 2014 at 19:31 PM
It is a bit, isn't it? Forbidding, to say the least.

Also, that curse of the architectural render, 'The Floating Man', makes an appearance in the first image.
#3 Posted by CADMonkey on 18 Nov 2014 at 20:00 PM
I wonder if this has been through a "value engineering exercise".
Nice lamps.
Big Chantelle
#4 Posted by Big Chantelle on 19 Nov 2014 at 07:10 AM
Love the fact that this monstrosity is called 'the newbattle centre'. Yep, the new battle against good taste courtesy of the concrete lovin' modernist brigade.

But to be fair, the mindless modernist drivel which passes for architecture today has given birth to this rubbish. And everyone here -- all you cheerleaders here -- are responsible for these lowly standards.

Would a Corinthian column hurt? Or is too pastiche so we best stick to some zinc cladding instead?
#5 Posted by Xenophon on 19 Nov 2014 at 09:27 AM

Unfortunately BC, a Corinthian column would hurt no matter how much we all love them.

Have you ever visited a city where it's modern architecture has been built, exactly as it would have been in say the 14th century? I use Frankfurt as an example. Here, since most of the city was destroyed during the war they decided to rebuild most of the old city as it was, in a very classic form. All the Corinthian columns, geometric dentils and decorated raked frieze' you could ever hope for.

All the geometry, all the lessons are there. All the beauty from the past we know and love. Unfortunately it does not work.

There is something devoid there, and the only way I can describe it is as if there is no soul to the city. This is nothing to do with being pastiche. There is something very uncomfortable about walking through a city that looks old, but really isn't. Time hasn't had a chance to age and give the place history. And in cases elsewhere where there has been deliberate attempts to make architecture look aged, it starts to look like Disneyland.

I too would love to see the world recreated as the Roman Forum was, like for like. But it just wouldn't feel right.

The challenge as architects today is to produce good quality architecture, regardless of aesthetic style. This only comes from hard work, desire to do good and an economy that encourages it. The building above is obviously not an example of this.

Big Chantelle
#6 Posted by Big Chantelle on 19 Nov 2014 at 10:16 AM
@ Xenophon

There you modernists go again -- deliberately ignoring WHAT WAS ACTUALLY SAID.

Who gets to decide what constitutes 'modern'? You? A committee? Could you name them please because I don't remember being asked.

And who gets to decide the aesthetic appearance of contemporary architecture? Could you name those people too.

Just because a building is free of ornament does not make it superior to the architecture of the past. Nor does appropriating styles of the past constitute backwardness like you modernists always try and say.

As long as all the eco stuff is satisfied then the aesthetic appearance of the buildings should not be limited to dumbed down soulless tat just because modernists have monopolized the aesthetic styling of architecture with their brand of what is right.
Art Vandelay
#7 Posted by Art Vandelay on 19 Nov 2014 at 12:15 PM
Surely that works both ways. A lot of your rants seem to suggest that anything 'traditional' is inherently better than anything 'non traditional' (or as you would have it, modernist).

I agree that there's little to be gained from limiting a design to a particular style or aesthetic, but there is absolutely no reason why traditional principles can't be delivered within a more contemporary built form. I'd much rather have a logical, clearly thought out scheme than an arbitrary piece of form making, but that doesn't instantly mean that we have to start dropping stone mouldings in all over the place.

The two aren't mutually exclusive.
#8 Posted by james on 19 Nov 2014 at 13:28 PM
Judging by others reactions, I think that what we is looking at 'ere is clearly the demise of extrusionism without the extruding architecture. A bit like a 70's office building held up as an example of the heroic period and vers une architecture - cinq planes pour moi n'at no? Anyway, I like the first comment. It sums up my emotional response to this. I just don't know how this stuff passes muster full stop.
The Ginger Prince
#9 Posted by The Ginger Prince on 19 Nov 2014 at 14:57 PM
Ooft, this is a truly appalling scheme.

Newbattle is a struggling community with a lot of issues, mostly related to poverty and education. I guess the fact that a new facility is being brought forward is positive, however the building does nothing to reflect the aspirations of betterment, health and well being and a positive outlook. It appears to be a big bland contemptuous shed set within a big bland car park dominated landscape… Surely the community deserve better than this? Shame on you MC.

It’s a great pity the design team haven’t even tried to respond to the qualities of the site or the rich industrial context around this area- the old colliery buildings, the distinctive brick row housing and even more impressive structures such as the nearby viaduct at Newtongrange to name but one. Ok, I guess this has been VE’d to an inch of its life, but come on; this is the pits…no pun intended.

Midlothian is a county of distinct character most of which derives from its dramatic industrial and rural heritage and unique landscape setting. It’s a pity the cooncil don’t value this and are happy to promote the area as a faceless commuter suburb of Edinburgh with roundabout upon roundabout of dross housing and tacky pub chain carvary restaurants…

Chantelle, thanks for the comments. I like a post lunch giggle and your mindless, ignorant rants always hit the spot…ta

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