Sustainable Estate

Time: 14:30 - 15:30

Date: 27-Nov-2019


When Is a School Not a School? Henry McKeown, jmarchitects

Scotland is leading the way in the UK for promoting, designing and delivering large scaled community campus buildings.

One of our most progressive recent local authority clients said during an early briefing meeting that they didn’t want us to design a school, but to design to a community campus with a school in it.

This paradigm shift is how communities are being encouraged by “design” to use and take ownership (in a manner of speaking) of this kind of building; by putting the community into the heart of the educational environment of their children. This new approach to design is facilitating a route back to learning, for older students, parents and is enabling a range of community support groups to use the building more frequently. This leads to them having a much wider influence on their children’s education and in surrounding neighbourhoods.

Our presentation will demonstrate how we as designers have and are responding to the challenges these buildings present in the way they are designed.

We will demonstrate how spaces are being designed to enable much freer, open access for the community to come into the buildings and use the school facilities alongside pupils and teaching staff – during and after the school day and at weekends.

We will demonstrate how liberating it is for designers to get a chance to design one of these buildings and to report on the positive impact these buildings are having in their local areas.

Tests of Change: David Fletcher, Architecture & Design Scotland

The aim of the project is to build change management into the whole learning community catalysed by changing spaces, enabled by:

  1. Engaging users in shaping the strategy for change; the learning and spatial brief
  2. Connecting the school and local authority in shared areas for action in implementing change in the estate; a change action plan
  3. Linking change initiatives to CfE, School Improvement Plans, practitioner enquiry and teacher CLPL to ensure a whole systems awareness of the benefits and pracyice of new ways fo doing things; using change as a ‘context for learning’
  4. Empowering learners to design and construct aspects of the new space, using prototypes, designer partnership and furniture fabrication learning experiences linked to STEM; early wins

The purpose of this presentation is to articulate the benefits of a proactive change management approach to changing spaces which is simultaneously about impacts on learning and teaching experiences, and the estate.

Learning Points:
1. The benefits of early inclusive change management strategies to maximise benefits of investment in the estate

  1. The possibilities of using change as a context for learning
  2. The opportunity of low cost, high impact interventions as a tool of ongoing change management

South Australia Government interview on schools as community hubs, learning from a new national initiative


  • Henry McKeown Director - jmarchitects
  • David Fletcher Architecture & Design Scotland


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