Design for new International School / by Craig Heap

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Holmes Miller has been working with Merchiston Castle School over the course of the last 12 months, developing conceptual designs for a new International School that would see the renowned Edinburgh school established in Shenzhen, China. Holmes Miller has a long standing relationship with the school, having developed a masterplan and new building designs for their Colinton Campus over the past decade. Through our network of offices in Glasgow, London and Guangzhou however, we have been able to offer a tailored architectural service, developing the brief with our client in Edinburgh, meeting with the wider educational team in London, and facilitating design workshops and contractor meetings in China.

The design proposed, utilises an existing further education building in the rapidly developing city of Shenzhen, regenerating the redundant building to provide a state-of-the-art teaching facility that will cater for both primary and secondary age pupils. The school will provide education for both international and Chinese national students, offering a British education within a building designed to reflect both the ethos of Merchiston Castle School and the principals of a UK designed school.

Further buildings are suitably refurbished within the new campus, to provide boarding accommodation for 600 students, with ensuite bed spaces, common rooms, kitchen and dining areas and recreation space. The site is further enhanced through the provision of a new swimming pool pavilion, that will offer a 25m pool and associated changing areas. The roof of this new building will be landscaped and will connect to all of the buildings on site through elevated walkways. This allows pupils the opportunity to relax and socialise within tranquil surroundings , whilst segregating pupil and vehicular movement around the site.

The design is being led by Holmes Miller's Education Director, Mark Ellson, who has coordinated dedicated staff in both our Glasgow and Guanzghou offices to develop and communicate the key principals of the concept design. With the project now moving into Construction Phase, Mark will continue to support the school, offering design support as the project prepares for the official opening, scheduled for September 2018.

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