Maidenhill Primary School and Nursery

  • area / size 50,859 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • BDP designed the Maidenhill Primary School and Nursery for innovative learning in Glasgow, Scotland.

    Maidenhill Primary School and Nursery sits at the heart of the new Maidenhill development which is a neighbourhood comprising over 800 homes. It offers a two stream primary school for 400 pupils and an early years facility for 120 children, providing an inspiring, flexible and interactive environment with open plan play rooms, a birdhouse hideaway, an internal climbing wall and an auditorium.

    Set over two floors, the school is organised around a central atrium, which contains interactive zones including science, performance, music, technology, library, art, storytelling and play. The project is a learning centre that encourages children to engage with their environment and collaborate with each other. An intentionally calming internal environment has been designed to accommodate sensory difference. It has a learning lab fitted with curiosity cabinets, modular furniture and smart screen technology.

    Its Building Management System is combined with exposed services within the lab to enable children to learn about the operation and energy footprint of the building. Sustainability has driven its design and construction, and the building achieved an EPC rating A. The roof of the school contains over 400 sqm of solar panels. Low energy emittance lights and low water use fittings are applied throughout the school. A sedum roof covers the early years building and the low level storage units in the playground are covered with sedum plants.

    The early years facility has a circular form, filled with natural light, and it contains a central treetop snug for storytelling and quiet time. The open plan playrooms with central dining and performance space promote free play and offer the children a choice of learning activity.

    The building and landscape design have spaces that boost curiosity and create a learning landscape enriched with play elements and natural forms. The school is inspired by nature and this is reflected in its furniture, materials, colours, shapes and graphics. The external environment encourages children to engage with the four essential life elements earth, air, fire and water with less focus on typical play equipment. There is also a garden to grow food. The main playground contains a water pump and weirs, play tunnels, bouldering wall, mud kitchen and fire pit as well as a tiered outdoor classroom and social space.

    Design: BDP
    Photography: David Barbour