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£53m Kilmarnock Campus throws opens its doors

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November 2 2016

£53m Kilmarnock Campus throws opens its doors
Ayrshire College has thrown open its doors to students and staff following completion of its £53m Kilmarnock campus, situated on the site of a former bottling plant on Hill Street.

The 183,000sq/ft facility has been designed by Keppie on a prominent site next to Kilmarnock railway station and offers students a diverse range of facilities including an IT department, technical workshops, music and drama suites, a sports hall and top of the range 4G football pitch.

Working to a brief that was closer to the Silverburn shopping mall than a standard college the architects have provided a public atrium overlooked by a succession of break-out spaces, a training restaurant, beauty salon and four floors of colour coordinated accommodation.

This serves as a ‘central spine’ from which the body of the campus can be accessed whilst doubling as a focal point and meeting space for staff, students, the public and even local businesses.

Finished in brushed stainless steel alucobond rainscreen cladding and glazing to the front together with an expansive forecourt paved with buff grey sandstone and white concrete trim. A contrasting palette of black aluminium cassettes and brick have been chosen for rear elevations to provide a deliberate contrast.

Originally conceived by BDP the scheme was subsequently taken on by RMJM before Keppie were appointed as delivery architect with McLaughlin & Harvey serving as main contractor.
Ayrshire College is centred around a generous full height atrium
Ayrshire College is centred around a generous full height atrium
The campus has attained a BREEAM excellent accreditation and is on target to receive an outstanding rating
The campus has attained a BREEAM excellent accreditation and is on target to receive an outstanding rating


#1 Posted by Roddy on 2 Nov 2016 at 15:33 PM
Inspired by a shopping centre, dear lord

Good to see this project Finally being completed
juan de los angeles
#2 Posted by juan de los angeles on 2 Nov 2016 at 15:59 PM
@Roddy, that's the er, beauty(?) of contemporary architecture! Is it a school? A business park? A hotel? One size fits all.

Oh, and it's a real missed opportunity for Kilmarnock. Given the proximity of the site to both public transport and the town centre it's a shame they didn't come up with something more urban, rather than yet another anonymous lumpen megastructure. The town and people of Kilmarnock deserve so much better than this.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#3 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 3 Nov 2016 at 08:55 AM
Some issues with priorities on this project.
"Top of the range" playing field is not what the town needs. It needs public and educational infrastructure to educate and develop its school leavers / returners to move them up the economic food chain.

£3K per square metre also seems a bit high -- what is the opportunity cost of a build at this figure rather than half this amount?

Then you have the perennial Scottish public sector issue -- no matter the initial quality will it be maintained over time to this initial standard or will it be left to degrade as the maintenance budget is either wasted due to inefficiency or forgotten about to support declining budgets in other areas?

#4 Posted by Tornface on 3 Nov 2016 at 09:05 AM
I would suggest the grey cladding is more Lidl or Aldi than Silverburn
Partick Bateman
#5 Posted by Partick Bateman on 3 Nov 2016 at 09:30 AM
'Inspired by the Silverburn shopping mall'

A phrase I never expected to see. Except maybe by a madman who has just committed a mass shooting.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#6 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 3 Nov 2016 at 10:39 AM
Interesting that the publically accepted standard for building design in Modern day Scotland is a shopping centre.

Either the author of the report is at it or the architect's publicist is bored and is spouting tripe to elicit a response on a slow workday.

I would have thought Silverburn was a naughty word in the town as it has drained a lot of middle income spend up the M77 to suns iodise the de facto Mearns town centre.

They can live off Nic nacs and coffee shops.
Kilmarnock cannot and is struggling.

I suppose if you can't beat them ...
#7 Posted by Heather on 3 Nov 2016 at 13:39 PM
From memory of the bidders day, I think it was the College Principal.

She liked shopping and in particular shopping at Silverburn.

Fat Bloke on Tour
#8 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 3 Nov 2016 at 15:28 PM
More and better pictures would have helped.
There is a design vibe in the building that I think offers hope for civic and other public buildings in Scotland.

Given the climate we need a lot more space under cover and sheltered from the wind.

The base structure of the building -- two work a day office blocks with a cheap and cheerful atrium providing a lot of public space offers potential for the future.

£1000 per square metre for a roof and two 15m high gable walls would be a great place to start.

We cannot fight the WCS climate any more.

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