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Boomerang plan Perth High School gets the nod from councillors

March 18 2022

Boomerang plan Perth High School gets the nod from councillors

Perth & Kinross councillors have lent their full support to a £68.7m Passivhaus standard replacement for Perth High School.

The wedge plan campus will rise within the grounds of the current school off Oakbank Road, permitting continuity of education through the construction period.

Built by Robertson Construction to designs by Norr and Rankin Fraser the school is centred on a multi-purpose auditorium from which all other spaces radiate.

In a planning statement, Norr wrote: "The broadly triangular (or boomerang) form of the project provides a compact, contextually appropriate arrangement with a floor plan conducive to highly effective educational connectivity, as well as an unusual external visual expression suitable for a contemporary learning environment."

The original 1971 school will be demolished once construction is complete in summer 2024.

Glazed curved corners are intended to lend the school a civic presence
Glazed curved corners are intended to lend the school a civic presence
The front facade folds to draw people towards a central main entrance
The front facade folds to draw people towards a central main entrance


juan de los angeles
#1 Posted by juan de los angeles on 19 Mar 2022 at 14:27 PM
The fenestration on this is very unsettling. Makes me very uncomfortable. If the building form is intended to draw people in think they will be disorientated by the window pattern by the time they get there.
Iain Duerr
#2 Posted by Iain Duerr on 20 Mar 2022 at 08:16 AM,_Chicago
#3 Posted by TheFakeArchitect on 21 Mar 2022 at 10:01 AM
I like the idea of the boomerang shape to draw you in and I quite like the glazed curved corners, but that window fenestration pattern, particularly to the right side, is just strange. Surely it could just be in a more co-ordinated fashion? I don't understand it.
#4 Posted by modernish on 21 Mar 2022 at 11:27 AM
In the third picture is the parent saying to the child - "Don't worry, I know it's a big change, but after a few years, if you keep your nose clean, they'll move you to the more humane Barlinnie".
#5 Posted by MV on 21 Mar 2022 at 11:39 AM
What an absolute shocker. It's an Archial special, go take a look at Stallan Brands schools. Challenge yourself. Aspire to do more for our next generation.
The Bairn
#6 Posted by The Bairn on 21 Mar 2022 at 13:41 PM
Well I do like a curved corner and shelter from the elements is always welcome.
I think the parent is saying to his child the 'wee boys' who misbehave go to the Young Offenders entrance on the left but the 'big boys' who are really naughty go to the big door on the right and may not be seen for quite some time.
And you thought the 'naughty step' was punishment. You need to learn fast kid!!
Beardy Weirdy
#7 Posted by Beardy Weirdy on 21 Mar 2022 at 14:03 PM
Shopping Centres to Prisons. Can it really be that hard to make a school look like a school?
#8 Posted by MV on 21 Mar 2022 at 17:13 PM
PS: The BS in the design and access statement is absolutely embarrassing. Sort yourselves out.

Fat Bloke on Tour
#9 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 22 Mar 2022 at 10:14 AM
£68.7mill build cost -- just what are we getting for our £68.7mill?

Has the public sector given up regarding value for money?

You could almost buy a ferry for £68.7mill ... well nearly.

Or is Passivhaus special and money is no object so that we can add the magic words to a press release.

Organised theft from the working class would be one way of describing it -- who is losing out from this student lunch economics / middle class welfare?
Fat Bloke on Tour
#10 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 22 Mar 2022 at 10:20 AM
And it gets worse -- not even a complete school for our £68.7mill !?!

They are recycling the sports block and the car parking -- surely a grown up has to step in and say no?

Huge cuts all across local government service provision but it is fill yer boots on the capital spend side.

I suppose -- as always -- the SG will big up the spend being delivered but stay silent on how little we are actually getting for our money.

Just like the ferries ...
Fat Bloke on Tour
#11 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 22 Mar 2022 at 10:42 AM
The design is bonkers / mental / hobby horser central.

The entrance hallway seems to moonlight as the dining hall -- interesting.

There is a dining terrace -- double interesting in Scotland with a 25% usage rate due to other climate.

The assembly hall is beyond bonkers with no stage just a re-purposed drama studio with very poor sightlines.

No matter every known piece of education techno babble is included so someone is getting the value for money they want.

Surely the SG would be better to work up a standard design book for schools and flex colour and materials as appropriate?
#12 Posted by modernish on 22 Mar 2022 at 11:07 AM
I understand passivhaus in housing; reduce the demand for heating to help alleviate fuel poverty. However, in a school surely a fair portion of the power demand comes from unregulated devices and ancillary uses (catering kitchen etc..) which are the same regardless of the heating solution.
Building a school to be incredibly air-tight with little or no heating source doesn't seem like the best idea in the world. At the moment kids are going to school with a couple of extra layers on and the class windows are open. If we had to do that again (every winter?) is there sufficient heating to make the building bearable with the windows open?
Also the passivhaus standard is <0.6 air changes per hour (ACH), but the submitted energy strategy says they will have 1 ACH. Perhaps why the energy strategy is at pains to note the school is 'aiming to achieve passivhaus certification'. The article above seems much more bullish about achieving the standard.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#13 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 22 Mar 2022 at 11:28 AM
#12 -- fair points about Passivhaus.

Outsider looking in -- haus = house.
Typically 4 people living in 100m2 building.

School environment -- totally different scenario.
Typically 30 of our plooky youth cooped up in a classroom of 50m2.

Surely the air change numbers quoted for Passivhaus are not credible at this density?

On a global scale has anyone ever built a Passivhaus school before?

And in our CoViD19 world is anyone outside Perth planning on doing it again?

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