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Newbattle Centre breaks ground

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February 15 2016

Newbattle Centre breaks ground
Morrison Construction has begun work on a community hub and high school at the existing Mayfield Complex, on behalf of Midlothian council and Hub South East.

The Newbattle Centre will host up to 1,200 pupils when it opens its doors in 2018, encompassing a high school, gym, library, swimming pool and all-weather sports pitch across some 15,714sq/m of space.

Councillor Bob Constable said: “As a council, we want to make sure we have a school and community facility that exceeds the requirements of today’s Curriculum for Excellence. We also want to provide great sport and leisure facilities that will benefit the school and the wider community.”

Designed by Cooper Cromar the ‘Z-plan’ scheme wraps around an open central atrium which integrates teaching, learning and social spaces.

A central entrance space connects the school and sports block which is partially timber clad to avoid creating an ‘industrial aesthetic’
The Newbattle Centre has been conceived to a Z-shaped plan
The Newbattle Centre has been conceived to a Z-shaped plan


#1 Posted by Gringo on 15 Feb 2016 at 10:10 AM
What's with the big frames on the outside? Looks terrible, like the architect has no idea what they are doing.....
I, robot.
#2 Posted by I, robot. on 15 Feb 2016 at 10:47 AM
When am I to take my cyanide capsule?
Please note CC, this is most definitely NOT what you would call spirit-filled architecture. It is NOT what we are on this earth to do.
#3 Posted by ellah on 15 Feb 2016 at 11:12 AM
...they must be cheap cos they ain't winning all these jobs on 'quality'. Looking at their website they also seem to have a n aversion to women...not a single member of their leadership is female.
#4 Posted by E=mc2 on 15 Feb 2016 at 15:12 PM
The design for Kelso High School is a real winner too.
#5 Posted by David on 15 Feb 2016 at 15:50 PM
Man, this is awful. I thought the idea was to knock down schools that look as bad as this, not build them.

Where did it all go so wrong?
#6 Posted by AntiSFT on 15 Feb 2016 at 20:03 PM
Hub schmub
D to the R
#7 Posted by D to the R on 15 Feb 2016 at 20:44 PM
'Designed by .....' That's a stretch. Seriously though this is dreadful ! Cooper Cromar should look at how real architects work with existing buildings ... Better still so should clients - where is the aspiration in this? Political box-ticking architecture I suspect
Dear Urban Realm
#8 Posted by Dear Urban Realm on 16 Feb 2016 at 08:35 AM
Just another disappointing "Hub delivered" project to add to the cost effective public sector buildings rolling off their 'Copy-Paste' production line!

In a way I kind of don't blame CC for this design, as this building has clearly had the value well and truly engineered out of it. But in another way I do blame them (and the client) as they continue to work for hub; get on their frameworks; embrace their limited briefs and budgets ; and then wonder why you end up with something not bad.... not great....just what it is!!

Schools should be inspiring, they should be places of inspiration and create a desire to be there. Unfortunately, like above, they look more and more like the call centre/ industrial park aesthetic that promises nothing to the younger generation.
#9 Posted by EducatedGuess on 16 Feb 2016 at 13:00 PM
As a revenue funded project, the client, in this instance Midlothian Council, had no option other than use to Hub (unless they had the capital resources to deliver the scheme themselves).

With capital projects, Councils are free to use any procurement method and it appears that an increasing number are recognising that Hub is not working for them - and why should it? The Hub companies are by and large controlled by major construction companies only one of whom is actually Scottish.

Morrison / Galliford Try operate Hub North and Hub South East, Morgan Sindall - Hub West; Robertson - Hub East Central and Graham, Kier - Hub South West and they generally they act in their shareholders best interests.....
#10 Posted by practical on 16 Feb 2016 at 16:23 PM
building looks functional and efficient which is what is required. up to pupils and teachers to add the wow factor is it not?
#11 Posted by David on 16 Feb 2016 at 17:10 PM
'building looks functional and efficient which is what is required. up to pupils and teachers to add the wow factor is it not?'

...gasping for air with that comment.

Really? Are you for real? Give them an empty soul-less box and be done with it?
#12 Posted by Lololol on 16 Feb 2016 at 22:32 PM
'practical' is either a Contractor, QS or works for hub /SFT. Clearly has no design sensibility whatsoever.

Im with Practical
#13 Posted by Im with Practical on 17 Feb 2016 at 11:10 AM
Im with practical on this one, the sqandering of money on Architects whims just so they can pat each other on the back next award ceremony does not represent value for money for the public purse.
The more standardising of design when it comes to Schools can only be a good thing for Scotland.
This is a good design, and should be replicated.
Why reinvest the wheel time and time again, no other industry does.
The truth is that architects don’t like this as it further errodes their role in the process.
I would be interested to know how many Architects would be prepared to pay more tax just to fund “extra aestetics”
I suspect very few are prepared to put their money where their mouth is.
Auntie Nairn
#14 Posted by Auntie Nairn on 17 Feb 2016 at 14:26 PM
#13 aahaahaahaahaaa
So we should all live and work in cheap, soul-less, meaningless boxes because it's efficient and aspiration for anything better entails having to pay for it.
God save us from attitudes like this.
Walt Disney
#15 Posted by Walt Disney on 17 Feb 2016 at 14:57 PM
Wow. Yet another Architectural canibalistic feeding frenzy. Its little wonder that the construction industry regards architects iso lowly when they regard each other even lower.

Sure, its not the best building this year but they are out there building stuff, paying wages and making a bit of profit for themselves. Not doing kitchen extensions for £20k a year and griping on UR.
Hey you guys!
#16 Posted by Hey you guys! on 18 Feb 2016 at 08:27 AM
It's disheartening that it's the poorer projects that seem to get all of the attention and comments. We are perpetuating a focus on the lowest end of the spectrum. It doesn't encourage debate as is so often claimed here. Design is a creative endeavour, one of hope and aspiration. Publish something to promote that fact and shift focus from the mundane and this downward spiral of negativity.
The Goonies
#17 Posted by The Goonies on 18 Feb 2016 at 10:04 AM
#16 Is describing a project as "poor" "the lowest end of the spectrum" or "Mundane" not just veiled negativity ?
Hey you guys!
#18 Posted by Hey you guys! on 18 Feb 2016 at 10:26 AM
Perhaps - I've been affected more than I thought!!! My comment wasn't specifically about this project but the focus of this site. There is good work out there and that should be the focus, not big-capital project press releases. The profession and assoc. press needs to giving exposure to what is interesting and uplifting about what we do. Get the watercolours out everyone and hope for more!

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