Education provision in the Scottish Borders is going through significant transformation and the requirement for investment in a new Peebles High School was accelerated due to a fire in 2019, resulting in parts of the school being rendered completely unusable. Our proposal seeks to create a new campus on the existing grounds that sensitively integrates with the immediate landscape and the local townscape. Our approach facilitates a simple tandem build to ensure that the existing school can remain operational during construction.
The building takes the footprint of the rugby field site and extrudes this to two storeys, an appropriate scale for the Peebles context. The concept is derived from the county estate style properties in the surrounding area that typify the southern part of Peebles. The concept is that of an “orchard of learning”, whereby a rigorous grid with paths east-west and north-south are broken up by clearings within the orchard. These become atria within the building that are associated with different functions or departments.
The overriding design aspiration is to achieve a collegiate environment for all young learners attending the school.
The facade takes inspiration from the structure of a tree to develop a layered facade that provides the classrooms with solar shade.