Practice celebrates double triumph at education awards ceremony

Ayr Grammar. Image credit: David Barbour

BDP is celebrating after landing two awards and a double commendation at the Learning Places Scotland Awards in Glasgow.

The awards celebrate outstanding projects that support the best education outcomes.

After winning the Project of the Year category for its design of Ayr Grammar Campus, BDP’s Heriot Watt University Dubai Campus was highly commended in the same category.

The practice went on to win the Innovation in Delivering a Sustainable Learning Space award for its University of Strathclyde Learning and Teaching Building and, following a win in the category last year, received a commendation for Architectural Practice of the Year.

BDP’s work at Ayr Grammar has created new spaces for education alongside community resources. The development delivers a nursery, primary school and community arts centre. It also provides a publicly accessible home for the Ayrshire Archives and Registry, which is a repository for the county’s historical records and the Ayrshire fine art collection.

Lindsey Mitchell, BDP architect director, said, “This award shows what can be achieved through a collaborative approach to architecture. By working with our partners, and consulting with parents, students and teachers, we developed the design to convert and extend an existing Victorian building to form a contemporary primary school with inspiring spaces that promote a range of teaching and learning styles and encourage children to reach their potential.

“We were able to safeguard local history and the legacy of education on the site, regenerating the town centre with community resources that benefit from improved access. BDP’s project team is delighted that the judges have recognised that our adaptive reuse of Ayr’s built heritage has created a fantastic multi-generational resource for the community.”

Also delivered through the adaptive reuse of existing buildings, BDP’s design for the University of Strathclyde’s 20,000 sqm Learning and Teaching Building is a redevelopment of the existing Colville Building and B-listed Architecture Building. Both structures were transformed to create spaces combining teaching and student facilities. They are united by a new student hub overlooking the university’s Rottenrow Gardens.

BDP revealed its redevelopment of these existing buildings has resulted in a 67% reduction in embodied carbon compared to an equivalent new building.

Martin Jarvie, BDP architect associate, added, “It was clear to our team that Strathclyde’s existing buildings had huge potential that provided a perfect opportunity for us in the adaptive reuse of these assets. We’re absolutely delighted that the new facilities provide fresh and engaging spaces that staff and students are really enjoying.

“By taking the decision to improve and reuse what was already there, we’ve managed significantly to reduce the project’s embodied carbon whilst creating a high-quality and sustainable resource for the whole university.”