Faith Schools’ Joint Campus
The Faith Schools’ Joint Campus at Waterfoot Road, Newton Mearns is the first shared faith campus not only within Scotland but possibly within the whole of Europe. It brings together for the first time two purpose built denominational primary schools with associated pre-5 nursery provision.
Location: Newton Mearns
Client: East Renfrewshire Council
The new-build campus in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire brings together two purpose-built denominational primary schools with provision for a nursery. The project serves as a replacement for the existing Jewish school, Calderwood Lodge, and an additional primary school for the Catholic community. Both schools have separate entrances, teaching wings and head teachers, however, a shared central space revolves around an amphitheatre, which is designed to be a flexible meeting place for children from both primaries that’s neither an assembly hall or a classroom.
The building split over two levels is of steel frame construction with a 23m clear span forming the atrium space and a curved truss creating a clerestory glazing above roof level.
In addition to the teaching space the school provides a performances spaces, games hall, grass and all-weather pitches all in line with Sports Scotland requirements.
A 5m level difference combined with shallow rock required a very considered approach to access arrangements, building levels and landscaping across the site to achieve a balance of cut & fill while minimising the need to excavate through rock.
To create the double height atrium and curved clerestory glazing designed to provide a ‘halo’ of natural light involved the design of 23m clear span cellular beams supported on a slender 2m high curved truss which complimented the architects vision and provides a minimalist structural form.
The building and its external play and teaching spaces have created a world-class learning environment that make the most of their natural surroundings. The design has brought together two separate faiths’ in a harmonious environment creating spaces which allow integration whilst respecting the needs of each school.
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