A £200,000 library designed by Archial Architects for Hutchesons’ Grammar Junior School in Glasgow has been nominated in the Best Small Project category at the prestigious Scottish Design Awards 2009.
Archial was originally approached by Hutcheson’s Educational Trust to prepare a feasibility document to look at reconfiguring the existing Junior School plan to meet the current education criteria. The proposal centred around the requirement for a new library space which would form the hub of the school and a focal point for both parents and pupils.
The Trust wished to create a space which underlined Hutcheson’s traditional values, combined with a progressive and forward thinking ethos. Archial proposed that this would be best achieved by juxtaposing a modern state of the art frontage for the library against the dark timber panelling and decorative plaster work of the assembly room.
The library now occupies the centre of the building adjacent to the main hall and directly opposite the main entrance. It was felt important to express the modern interior of the library space to the visiting public, however the grade C listing of the existing building prevented opening up of the shared wall. To overcome this, the design team proposed a glass wall/light box which acts as a facade or veneer to the new library behind. Both school pupils and staff chose 12 well known quotations from childrens’ books which were arranged randomly across the glass panels in vinyl applied to the rear of the glass. A further layer of donors’ names was sand blasted into the outer pane of glass and highlighted by the overhead lights.
Russell Baxter of Archial Architects, said, “The final piece creates a focal point, an art installation that the pupils can enjoy and provides a mechanism to thank parents and friends that have been kind enough to help fund the project.
“This bold and exciting piece offers ownership to the funders, fun to the children and creates a modern statement within a traditional school building, thereby reinforcing the schools’ forward thinking approach.” The Archial Group Plc employs around 200 staff in Scotland, operating from offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness.
ENDS For further information please contact: Russell Baxter T: 0141 248 1700 Issued on behalf of Archial Group Plc by Liquorice Media tel 0141 564 8058 Date 27th May 09
Notes to Editors
• In addition to Archial Architects, The Archial Group Plc incorporates: Sparch (providing architectural solutions that match the energy and growth of fast-moving emerging markets in Asia); Alsop (creating challenging solutions that push the limits of conventional ideas about architecture in a provocative and colourful style); Archial Services (with a portfolio of specialist services in Planning, Facilities Management and Sustainable Futures, a dedicated team of category experts deliver creative solutions to add value to all architectural projects) and Archial Special Projects (operating worldwide, this is a vehicle for collaborative commissions that draw upon the strength of the Archial Group, combined with the skills and expertise of other external consultants. • The Archial Group Plc has created a system it calls Intelligent Architectural Design which incorporates the five dimensions required to achieve the optimum design solution: creative integrity; economic performance; environmental responsibility; social contribution and personal experience.