Ryder’s Wick campus and primary school plans get go ahead

Ryder Architecture has received planning approval for Wick Joint Campus and Wick North of the River Primary in the Scottish Highlands.

As part of the Scottish Government’s ‘Scotland’s Schools for the Future’ programme, the campus consolidates the existing Wick High school, the South Primary School, Pulteneytown Primary School, community library and swimming pool into one community facility and includes a new integrated nursery with 120 half day places for children. It is located on the playing field site adjacent to the existing high school, with the existing school being demolished upon completion of the new facility. Grade C listed buildings at the front of the present school are to be retained in line with the new masterplan.

After Edinburgh’s new town, Wick contains Scotland’s largest Georgian planned town in the classical tradition. Its significant historical context informs the planning of the new campus as does its location on the edge of the town facing the north sea. The objective of creating a series of facilities – a community resource beyond standard education – are the bedrock supporting the wider imperative of the cultural and economic regeneration of the area. The various buildings are a contemporary interpretation of the simple materials and classical proportions and order of the buildings of the Enlightenment designed to create a sustainable, stimulating environment.

Professor Gordon Murray, Ryder partner, said:

“Thomas Telford, now largely forgotten in Caithness, was an engineering genius, who also created the visionary planned town of Pulteneytown, which both supported and enabled Wick’s massive 18th Century economic expansion. With the new campus and new primary schools the town again has the facilities to support and enable the renewal of the wider community. Parents, children, teachers and politicians have all worked hard to make this a reality.”

Approval for the redevelopment of Wick North of the River Primary accommodates up to 387 pupils featuring a specialist additional support needs wing and a dedicated 90 place nursery. The new school will provide a simple, elegant design, utilising a complimentary palette of materials and colour, with timber, semi transparent polycarbonate and aluminium cladding. The low level roof appears to undulate over the teaching wings, using the natural change in levels to form enclosed and semi enclosed courtyards with formal hard and soft landscaping. Designed to achieve BREEAM Excellent, the school will provide an environment which is stimulating and inspiring.