13 Schools of 2018 by Craig Heap

Dec 2018 Schools - Blog Image.jpg

2018 has been an incredibly busy and unprecedented year for our Education team with the successful handover of 13 school facilities.  Significantly, this included our first venture into the education sector south of the border with the delivery of an ASN School in Stevenage.

We are passionate about the design and delivery of the learning estate and have very much enjoyed this collaborative journey with our clients, key stakeholders, fellow consultants and contractors to reach this significant milestone in 2018.

Some of the highlights :

  • 13 projects handed over with construction value of £87 million.

    • 10 x Primary Schools

    • 1 x ASN School

    • 1 x All Through School

    • 1 x Early Years Centre

  • 10 different local authorities

  • 5 different procurement routes (hub / LHC framework / Local Authority framework / Scape / D&B tender)

  • 7 different main contractors

We are looking forward to a well deserved Christmas holiday and wish you a healthy and prosperous 2019.

North East Campus, Dundee by Craig Heap

3546 North East Campus_Dundee (6).jpg
3546 North East Campus_Dundee (7).jpg
3546 North East Campus_Dundee (9).jpg

Conceived in 2015, and opened to pupils in August 2018, North East Campus in the Whitfield area of Dundee rethinks primary school provision in the area, offering an innovative and dynamic learning environment with pupil’s wellbeing at its core. The brief, to combine three existing primary schools, and two existing nursery schools within a new, state-of-the-art facility, required an architectural approach that addressed a number of key issues;

How can a building of over 7,000m2 remain approachable, legible and navigable for pupils as young as 2 years old?

How can the architectural approach assist and encourage positive transitions between year group stages?

How can this multi faith facility maintain open plan, collaborative learning at its heart, whilst recognising the need for distinct school identity?

Recognising the differing needs and vulnerabilities of children from pre-school through to graduation to secondary school, the design for NE Campus seeks to respond by addressing the aspects that relate to a pupils ‘day at the school’. On approach, this three storey building may seem dominant on the hillscape to the North of the City, however at ground level, pupils are presented with considered and appropriate entrance points. Nursery pupils are guided through a landscaped pre-school garden, to a single storey canopied entrance, with playful articulation and open aspects to the playroom and nurture spaces beyond. Infant pupils are catered for through individual classroom entrances at ground level, providing each teaching space with a ‘front lawn’ on approach, and mitigating any fear of crowding issues or intimidation in vertical circulation stairwells. For senior pupils, the grandeur of the school’s principal entrances reinforce their maturity within the establishment and allow them to embrace their pending graduation to secondary school by accessing the school and its upper floor on the diagonal axis that dissects the building floor plan.

Internally, the building fosters transition by carefully aligning and considering relationships between year groups, offering the opportunity for social interaction in suitably scaled environments. Whilst the building’s central atrium reaches a height of 16 metres, the space is crafted to create intimate courtyard settings, intersected by a dynamic learning ‘bridge’. The smallest of the courtyards links the Early Years Centre with the infant classrooms, providing a library, group work and craft area for pupils to meet and explore. Glass screens link both the playroom and infant classrooms with this open plan area, allowing pre-school children the opportunity to identify and acclimatise to their next step, whilst infant pupils understand the journey they have taken in their first step through academia.

Classroom spaces and their connection to circulation and flexible learning remains intimate and protected at infant level, with limited areas of ‘double height’ volume, and the ability to shelter from the larger atrium and social spaces within the school. This arrangement provides the character of a newly formed infant school, where every facility is locally available, and the year groups can customise their environment and setting for learning. For junior and senior pupils however, the school opens up to form a dynamic and uplifting educational agora, with cascading floors addressing the central atrium, learning bridge and terraced group work areas. Pupils will graduate upwards through the building as they progress through year groups, easily mapping their journey and allowing the ability to reflect on achievements. The school eschews the traditional dining and assembly hall, and instead offers a tiered performance and social area, that allows for social gathering and dining, whilst forming the optimum space for science practical teaching, setting for art classes, and launch point for cross curricular engagement.

The further consideration of the NE Campus design is the integration of both non-denominational and Roman Catholic school communities under a single roof, offering the ability to maintain school identity whilst embracing the opportunity for wider school collaboration. As demonstrated at the recent opening event at the campus, the design and layout of the building is encouraging continual dialogue between the associated senior management and teaching staff of each school, embracing every opportunity for learning as a collective, and celebrating not only the achievements of each individual school, but the outlook of the joint campus as a whole.     

North East campus is a truly ambitious project, which offers the optimum environment for pupils and for delivery of the curriculum. Moreover, this project clearly demonstrates that careful design at pupil level, can create the most intimate of learning spaces, within one of the largest primary schools in Scotland.  

Glasgow Studio Refurbishment by Craig Heap


We are currently undergoing a major transformation in our Glasgow studio, with extensive refurbishment works well under way to bring a new lease of life to 89 Minerva Street.

Our Interior Design team have worked their magic to create a series of exciting new spaces in the office, all designed to encourage more flexible, creative ways of working, and all finished to an exceptionally high standard.

We’re all looking forward to the grand reveal, so watch this space for further updates!

Architectural Practice of the Year Award by Craig Heap


Our Education Team had a fantastic few days at the Education Buildings Scotland Conference which highlighted all the wonderful work that is being undertaken in the Education sector in Scotland.

We were especially delighted to receive the award for Architectural Practice of the Year and the Pupil / Student Experience award for Caol Joint Campus.

These awards are testament to the talent, hard work and commitment of our wonderful Education Team, working in collaboration with our Clients, contractors and fellow consultants, to deliver high quality Education facilities.

Education Buildings Scotland Conference by Craig Heap

New Project (1).jpg

Our Holmes Miller Education Team are looking forward to attending the Education Buildings Scotland Conference this week at the EICC.

Four of our projects [Lenzie Meadow Primary School, Caol Joint Campus, Balloch Shared Campus and Dalbeattie Learning Campus] have been shortlisted for Awards alongside a fantastic array of Education buildings showcasing the high calibre of design evident in the Scottish Education system.

Our Education Director, Mark Ellson, will also be taking part in the 2040 Everyday Learning Workshop which will be an entertaining and lively discussion on the future of Education.

We are looking forward to a wonderful few days and hopefully we’ll see you there.

Conference Programme

Planning Application at Shawlands Bowling Club by Craig Heap

181009 4286 Shawlands BC CGI1.jpg

Holmes Miller has submitted a Planning Application on behalf of Kelvin Properties for a residential development on vacant ground at Shawlands Bowling Club.

The development, located off Pollokshaws Road and bordering a bowling green, offers 34 units for private sale with associated landscaping, private parking and refurbishment of the retained portion of the clubhouse.

The scheme is to be finished in a buff facing brick and gold coloured cladding, with high quality large format glazing throughout.

8,000 capacity stadium for West Cumbria by Craig Heap

181004 4268 West Cumbia Stadium Aerial.jpg
181004 4268 West Cumbia Stadium Entrance.jpg
181004 4268 West Cumbia Stadium Pitch.jpg

Holmes Miller are excited to release images of their design for a new 8,000 capacity stadium for West Cumbria in Workington. The stadium will become the new home for Workington AFC and Workington Town.

Holmes Miller has been working for the last few months with the Council, both clubs and a design team that includes Gleeds and AECOM.

Alan Smith, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, said: "This development will put our town on the map and be something the whole of West Cumbria’s communities can be proud of."

Times & Star article

Portraits of the City by Craig Heap


Some wonderful work on display at Holmes Miller Architectural Assistant Nada Shehab’s, and her colleague Alastair Kent, exhibition at the New Glasgow Society running till the 14th October.

The entire event and exhibition titled Portraits of the City: Investigating the ‘Glasgow Style’ is sponsored by the GIA and the department at Strathclyde. As well as the designs produced with a contemporary Glasgow Style, Nada and Alastair have produced a series of images and drawings throughout their research of the city that has provoked discussion on what the Glasgow Style actually is!

A beautiful mix of 49 pieces and a few models on shown.

Link to exhibition details

Park Quadrant Penthouses Break £1m Prices by Craig Heap

aerial view(1.0).jpg
penthouse 1(1.0).jpg

With construction well underway, the striking sandstone facades and bay windows are now starting to appear along with the first glimpse of the dynamic penthouse roof profile. The first phase currently under construction, having sold out from plan a few months ago, is already transforming the Park area skyline, and Holmes Miller are delighted to see that demand still remains as high with over half of the overall 98 apartments now sold, and with penthouses now selling for over £1m.

Link to Glasgowist article.

Link to Insider article.

Marina and Elina win AJ Student Prize by Craig Heap


Congratulations to Holmes Miller Architectural Assistants Marina and Elina on the news that their Postgraduate work at University of Strathclyde has been recognised with the AJ Student Prize 2018.

One juror said: ‘[The project] demonstrates the power of creative collaboration and offers a refreshing departure from the starchitect-manufacturing pedagogies that are inclined to over-emphasise the importance of individual portfolio projects.

’Their scheme offers a sensitive and reserved approach to a well-renowned site. The proposed palette and programme reflect that of the scheme’s context, and the people-centred agenda responds to urgent concerns about the future of truly public buildings.’

Link to AJ article

Project Abstract 

Studying the interwoven states of time, memory and space in the context of a territorial realm, Glasgow city becomes an urban canvas, where hidden narratives begin to unfold. Investigating the origins of a place, under a wider frame of reference, aids in understanding the city’s spatial, cultural, political and social development over the past centuries, as well as identifying prominent features or events that got buried under the rapid pace of urbanization. This thesis is an attempt to generate a precedent for a local cultural forum, that triggers the sense of cultural belonging. The city transforms into a palimpsest where citizens perceive present as a collective experience by unravelling the city’s shared pasts while simultaneously generating vision for the city’s future prospects. The exploration of all three states of time as interwoven realities, is expressed through a series of civic structures that seek to empower collective identity through the trading of ideas and public consolidation.

Project Description

Situated in the heart of Glasgow, Synchroni[city] is an attempt to give form to a cultural quarter for the public . Occupying the site where once the College Good Yard stood its typological orientation conveys a restored interpretation to the function of the market, transforming it from the trade of goods to the exchange of ideas. With its emergence it seeks to revive a version of the classical Agora, a public place of concentrated cultural activity and social encounter.  

The quarter is  composed of three main structures, each one reflecting a temporal state of society – past, present and future – through the acts of recollection, reflection and public consolidation. The structure of remembrance, takes the form of an archive of the lost city, containing records of the city’s past that got lost as the city expanded. From physical elements (e.g. the Molendinar burn) to states of societal uprise (e.g. Red Clydeside, Suffragettes, trade and slavery) it restores the public memory of the city. The second object of study is a vessel of public reflection. The hall of hidden narratives rises as a mirror of the city’s terrain assembled in brick and exhibits the product of remembrance in tangible form. It is a symbol of materialization of expressive intuition in the form of public art. Proceeding to the final section the spatial sequence concludes with the peoples’ forum. It is a place for public deliberation taking the merged form of an auditorium and an arcade. A modern cathedral that enables social interaction through the stages of observation on the dialectics of present reality, debate and future contemplation. All the structures are connected through a central amphitheatre and signify the interwoven states of memory and social evolution. The synthesis itself was designed to form a precedent for a local quarter that would be situated in every county of Scotland, with the prospect of their interconnection, ensuing that social structure is established under a system that transcends from the citizen, to its local region, to the greater nation. 

Marina Konstantopoulou & Elina Giannoulaki

Education Estates Conference, Manchester by Craig Heap


Following the successful delivery of Glenpark Early Years Centre, we have been invited to present at the Education Estates Conference in Manchester on 16 October 2018.

With increased commitment to provision of pre-school education and funded places for 3-5 year old children across the UK, local authorities are being challenged to develop flexible delivery models and create new facilities to meet this growing demand. Holmes Miller has developed a solution that brings all the benefits of off-site manufacture, to provide Councils with an ELC model that can be expanded to suit anticipated pupil rolls, and delivered efficiently, whilst aligning with challenging cost and area metrics. Referencing the recently completed Glenpark Early Years Centre, our Associate Director, Clara Garriga will discuss how these buildings can be crafted with innovation and creativity.

Link to conference event

Planning submitted at Kent Road by Craig Heap

180808 4038 Kent Road CGI REVC.jpg

Holmes Miller has submitted a planning application for a residential development at Kent Road on behalf of Kelvin Properties.  The development offers 20 units for private sale on a tight urban site adjacent to Charing Cross.

Accelerating Offsite Construction in Scotland by Craig Heap

171127 4127 Exploded persp1.jpg

Ryan Holmes, Holmes Miller Associate Director, will be presenting at the Supply Chain Sustainability School Breakfast Briefing on Friday 7th September alongside Angeline Robertson, HubWS, and David Crawford, CCG OSM, to give a Client's perspective on Offsite Construction.  

The presentation will look at the development of a solution for the Early Years expansion programme that brings all the benefits of off-site manufacture, to provide Councils with a flexible solution that can be expanded to suit anticipated pupil rolls, and delivered efficiently, whilst aligning with expected cost metrics. This option can be customised to suit context, with a range of cladding solutions possible, and the large volume playrooms can be easily defined to marry with an early year’s curriculum.

Link to event details


Planning permission granted for Meadowbank Sports Centre by Craig Heap

171122 3796 Meadowbank view4A.jpg

Holmes Miller are architects and Design Team leaders for the project to redevelop Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh. We are therefore delighted that The City of Edinburgh Council recently granted Planning Permission for this prestigious project.

Holmes Miller Project Director, Gareth Yule said – “This is a significant milestone in the redevelopment of Meadowbank and we are looking forward to working with The City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Leisure to deliver this great new facility, which we hope will be completed by 2020.”

With the retention of the existing running track, the design celebrates the history of Meadowbank and the legacy of sporting achievement witnessed at events like the Commonwealth Games held in 1970 and 1986 as well as other many memorable moments in the history of Scottish Athletics. 


New visitor centre for Drumpellier Country Park by Craig Heap

4223 Image 2.jpg

Holmes Miller has submitted a planning application on behalf of North Lanarkshire Council to extend the existing visitor centre at Drumpellier Country Park in Coatbridge. The centre is to be redeveloped as a gateway to the Seven Lochs Wetland Park, a new heritage and nature park spanning the Glasgow City and North Lanarkshire Council boundary between Easterhouse, Coatbridge and Stepps. The extension creates a new viewing area over Lochend Loch, with displays telling the story of the park and the Seven Lochs project. Construction work at the visitor centre is expected to start in the Autumn.

Balloch Shared Campus by Craig Heap

Balloch School_5358-ME.jpg
Balloch School_5482-ME.jpg
Balloch School_5739-ME.jpg
Balloch School_7310-ME.jpg
Balloch School_6603-ME.jpg

Balloch Shared Campus amalgamates three existing schools into a single facility for West Dunbartonshire Council. The dual faith facility provides for 747 pupils with an additional support needs base and Early Years area.

The open plan nature of Balloch provides for 21 flexible spaces, supporting an ethos of independent learning.  Multifaceted environments encourage agile and collaborative working where lessons take place in larger resource spaces, children can take ownership of their studies, utilising the school's ‘nooks and crannies’.

The adaptable design reflects the operational needs of a modern teaching facility where varied environments encourage children to form bonds across year groups.

The design beautifully illustrates the transition of a child through the school, mirroring the journey each student has taken from junior to senior.

Strong links exist between indoor and outdoor spaces, with classrooms linked to 'growing laboratories’, bug hotels and recycled bottle greenhouses. These, along with the addition of conservation bat bricks allow students to consider their wider environment emphasising local sustainable and ecological topics.

Balloch Shared Campus was delivered by Morgan Sindall for West Dunbartonshire Council.

Government review safe standing at football matches by Craig Heap

Photo by Robin Buchanan

Photo by Robin Buchanan

Following a parliamentary debate earlier in the week, the Government will commission a fundamental review of standing at football matches in the English Premier League and Championship.

All-seater stadiums have been mandatory in these leagues since 1994, after standing was banned by an amendment to the Football Spectators' Act 1989, following recommendations made in the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.

However, surveys of supporters have shown that there is support amongst fans for the introduction of standing areas and Sports minister Tracey Crouch says her "mind is open" on safe standing at football grounds after announcing a fresh review into the subject.

The MP, speaking at Monday's parliamentary debate on the issue, expects findings of the initial research to be completed before the end of the year.

"Today I can announce we will commission an external analysis of evidence relating to the all-seater policy," said Crouch

"The one thing we need to do is collect and analyse the evidence that exists and ensure that all views on this issue can be heard and considered before we make any changes to the all-seater policy.

"Change cannot and should not happen overnight on something as serious as football ground safety. My mind is open on the future of the all-seater policy."

In Scotland, The Scottish Premier League had previously made it a condition of membership that clubs had to have all-seated grounds. This requirement was relaxed in 2011.

Following this, standing was re-introduced to the Scottish Premiership at Celtic Park, Glasgow.

Holmes Miller and engineers Blyth & Blyth were instrumental in the design of the safe standing area at Celtic Park for Celtic Football Club which was completed for the start of the 2016/17 season.

Celtic Chief Executive, Peter Lawwell said:

“The introduction of rail seating at Celtic Park represents an investment in spectator safety. Across football globally, the reality is that some supporters are choosing to stand at matches.

"This is something we must accept and manage and also understand the positive effect which these areas have on atmosphere at matches.

“Celtic’s primary objective will always be the safety and comfort of its supporters – this new system will now allow fans to stand safely at matches.

Installation video shot by Celtic FC Media Team

A case study on the installation at Celtic Park


Official opening of Baldragon Academy by Ryan Holmes

Baldragon Launch.jpg

Holmes Miller was delighted to share in the opening celebrations for the new Baldragon Academy, Dundee earlier today.  Formally opened by Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Mr John Swinney, we were entertained during proceedings by the Academy's Vocal Group and Wind Band who were the star attraction for the day.

Baldragon Academy is a 1100 pupil place community school, designed and delivered in close collaboration with Dundee City Council Capital Projects, Robertson Construction - Tayside, HUB East Central and Scottish Futures Trust.

Ryan Holmes, Project Architect,  “Following five years investment in the project, it was great to witness first hand, the real sense of ownership and enjoyment the staff and pupils have in the new facility”

Holmes Miller's wish for the new school is that it can provide a platform, in whatever small way, whereby all users can fully fulfil their academic ambitions and personal development.

On a personal note, can we share in wishing a long and prosperous retirement to the outgoing Head Teacher, Mr Kenny Hearn.