The project brief for St Columba’s High School was for the extension and refurbishment of an existing redundant school building by Inverclyde Council.
The existing building dated from 1960 and was in poor condition. Initial considerations of the project looked carefully at the form and fabric, and how best to enhance and improve its’ existing appearance and performance. It was considered important to reorganise the circulation and social spaces, especially as the brief called for a new (and vitally important to the ethos of the school) “oratory” gathering space.
Design of this new area was the starting point of the remodelling of the external spaces, to create a more useful and meaningful teaching and social realm in the school grounds.
The principle challenge for SPACE & PLACE was to bring an existing redundant school building of multi-story construction up to the standards and quality that is required to meet the needs of a modern curriculum. Great care was taken to maximise the use of existing structure where this could be done without compromising functionality or being detrimental to appearance. Creating a solution which is environmentally efficient in both construction and in long term running costs was essential.