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Teachers and pupils move into Biggar Primary School

August 18 2015

Teachers and pupils move into Biggar Primary School
Morgan Sindall Professional Services (MSPS) and AHR Architect have conducted a formal handover ceremony for Biggar Primary School as teachers and pupils move into their new premises.

Delivered on behalf of South Lanarkshire Council the school is one of eight primary schools to be handed over to the local authority by MSPS.

Robbie McKillop of MSPS said: “Design needs to consider the lifecycle of a building in order that long term budgets are used efficiently. Our M&E design provides extensive natural ventilation, photovoltaic panels to provide the school with free electricity, LED lighting throughout and a high level of air tightness. This contributed to the school achieving the A-rated EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).”

MSPS are currently working on the delivery of new primaries at Machanhill, Udston and Braidwood.
Energy efficiency was a key requirement for the sustainably built school
Energy efficiency was a key requirement for the sustainably built school
Primary coloured panels highlight the main facade
Primary coloured panels highlight the main facade

The three storey school benefits from low overheads
The three storey school benefits from low overheads


#1 Posted by Visitor on 18 Aug 2015 at 17:16 PM
Colourful additions to a prison to call it a school?

This looks depressing and incredibly unimaginative, I feel for the poor children that need to be educated here.
#2 Posted by Rankbadyin on 19 Aug 2015 at 12:03 PM
This will be the legacy of Hub procurement. VE'd buildings that look like 90's leisure centres.
A Local Pleb
#3 Posted by A Local Pleb on 19 Aug 2015 at 15:11 PM
Rankbadyin you display your obvious ignorance, firstly this school was not procured via HUB it formed part of South Lanarkshire Schools Modernisation Programme (refer to this website for a broader view of projects
Secondly with the schools being part of a framework, there was and still is engagement with school staff, pupils, community and client etc to realise a building that each 'stakeholder' will be proud of (perhaps Visitor you want to impose your views over the feedback given by school pupils)? At the end of the day these are people who architects and contractors must satisfy. The end product may not be your cup of tea (and I agree superficially they are not all projects of beauty) but the objective is not to satisfy the whims and preferences of the architectural fraternity.
Yet again Urban Realm commentators snipe and readily belittle projects without knowing the 'real facts'.
By the way, I have no involvement with this project but have in the past been involved with this Framework!
#4 Posted by David on 19 Aug 2015 at 17:33 PM
@ A Local Pleb,

Perhaps the increased incidents of sniping on this website are a direct result of an increased number of poor quality pieces of architecture on show in recent months (with several exceptions obviously).

It's simply not a good enough argument to be happy that 'they are not all projects of beauty' and just accept what the end result us. Of course the end users are the critical driving force here, but if the architectural community can't even criticise architectural design on an architecture website, then where on earth can they?

What are these 'real facts' that the architects must know before criticising architecture?...

Poster #1 and #2, I concur with your thoughts.
A Local Pleb
#5 Posted by A Local Pleb on 20 Aug 2015 at 00:01 AM
I agree, unfortunately, that there are frequent examples of poor quality design portrayed on Urban Realm and yes this should be a forum for comment.
However, many a commentator simply resorts to oh so simplistic or knee jerk statements effectively saying something is c**p or dressing it up with some pretentious waffle.
Unfortunately the architectural community is so absorbed in the visual quality of the final product that it frequently fails to try and understand the trials and tribulations a design team have faced to deliver it. Perhaps if it did we would have more constructive and informed criticism?
#6 Posted by David on 20 Aug 2015 at 08:46 AM
I agree in as much as we could do with some more intelligent criticism, but at the same time, it's most often the case that it is only visual quality we can comment on as it is all that we normally get to see, as is the case with this building.

So on the basis of the images above, I can't really argue with the points made that it looks depressing and unimaginative, and appears on the face of it to have been victim to some ruthless cost engineering (it should never, ever be called value engineering).
#7 Posted by James on 20 Aug 2015 at 09:19 AM
Evidently, a product of a failed system that 'ticks all the boxes' and none at all. Nothing to see here, move on. Eat yer cereal. Blah blah blah.

Try 'making' something and infusing it with care and quality. - There's a clue.
#8 Posted by Rankbadyin on 20 Aug 2015 at 09:36 AM
@local pleb. Apologies for confusing one procurement vehicle with another one. Please look back a couple of UR stories from this one to see two projects from Stallan Brand with very similar budgets as this one but are a world away in terms of design. Maybe all blame cant be placed at the procurement vehicle for shoddy design but it does create the environment for it to happen. Therefore I wont apologise for having a negative opinion on this project.
#9 Posted by ooctopus on 20 Aug 2015 at 09:51 AM
so the last school was smaller than this?
#10 Posted by Stephen on 20 Aug 2015 at 19:14 PM
That looks diabolically cheap. Cheap materials. Cheap labour. Cheap design fees. Imagine how it'll look in ten years. Nice message to send to the pupils/society.
A Local Pleb
#11 Posted by A Local Pleb on 20 Aug 2015 at 23:42 PM
I agree Stallan Brand's projects you refer to on UR are good examples, but then so are their built design for St Brides in Cambuslang and Long Calderwood as well as East Milton both in East Kilbride...all delivered under the South Lanarkshire Schools framework. Not the result of a failed method of procurement (@James)!
#12 Posted by james on 21 Aug 2015 at 08:33 AM
Dear A Local Pleb,

You misappropriate a point to me. That was not nice. My point was not specifically a criticism about a 'method of procurement', but more generally about the whole SYSTEM (sic) of industrialisation, planning, bureaucracy, technocracy, management, 'architects' offices, meagre fees, to whit the whole shit deal at large. This will TEND to result in a whole series of building components being just placed next to one another rather than an architecture being 'made' and fashioned into something of care and quality. That was my point. I did say SYSTEM - not 'a failed method of procurement'.
#13 Posted by Roddy on 21 Aug 2015 at 08:36 AM
I would agree that the Stallan Brand proposals look very nice

However they haven’t been built yet

We can all come up with pretty pictures, but the harsh reality of building to a budget is a different thing altogether

Lets wait to see what gets built and then we can compare apples with apples
#14 Posted by naird on 21 Aug 2015 at 09:46 AM
I am constantly reportage of quality architecture within this forum.......No. rather I find it difficult to understand how any forum can stoop to include some of the reported items. Urban Realm badly need to adopt a modicum of editorial discretion. If the architecture is crap do not lower your standards to even comment. If such standards were to apply the weekly content could instantly reduce by 50%. Accordingly the angst levels of regular readers would dissipate proportionally.

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