New Community School - design by Anderson Bell + Christie, Scotland
Auchterarder School Building
Auchterarder Community School
P.A.C.E. has been working over the past few years with Glasgow based
architects Anderson Bell + Christie and a team of artists to make site
specific works for the new community school both internally and externally.
Auchterarder School: image from P.A.C.E. Jan 2005
Latest completed phase:
Artists create stimulating environment for the new Community School of Auchterarder
As part of the most extensive public art programme in any Scottish school, artist Gordon Young has recently completed a 60 metre long typographical pavement and seating for the main square of the Community School of Auchterarder.
Gordon is one of four artists working collaboratively with the design team to make site specific artworks internally and externally for the nursery, primary, secondary and community facilities. A Perth and Kinross Council initiative, devised and co-ordinated by arts agency P.A.C.E., the project’s aim is to create imaginative and stimulating learning environments for the children and the community. All the artworks are designed specifically for the new school and many make references to the school’s rural environment.
The typographical pavement or Road to the Isles is a geographical list or ‘poem’ of the forests, lochs, rivers, glens, valleys, towns, roads and mountains that can be plotted in a straight line from the school all the way to the Summer Isles in the north west of Scotland. In Young’s words “if you were superman and hence with x-ray vision, you would see through and across the mountains, lochs and forests until you came to the sea and the islands beyond – wonderful places with wonderful names”. Made from bands of coloured concrete, many from locally sourced sands, and stainless steel text, each category is colour coded eg light blue for the lochs and red for the roads.
In the main body of the space, the geographical theme further develops with the siting of benches each named after an island off the west coast of Scotland and arranged according to their geographical location; children enjoy sitting on Eigg and Muck and jumping from Harris to the Isle of Lewis. This impressive and striking ‘walk of art’ is also an educational tool; teachers are already using the path to stimulate discussion on ecology, geography, history and arts.
David Knipe, head teacher for the secondary school states, “The high quality design and landscaping in the new school campus is complemented by innovative and striking internal and external artworks. This has added an aesthetic, visual interest, and indeed, educational dimension to the project. The success of this programme underlines the importance of arts in innovative school design”.
Samantha Clark has created work inside the secondary school including Assembly a 50 m photographic frieze of the school’s class photographs both past and present (some dating back to the 1890’s), Lie of the Land - 9m high wood panelled walls etched with the contour lines of the local hills, and Catchment an abstracted flooring design relating to the river Earn and its tributaries throughout the ground floor of the secondary school.
The primary playground designed by artist Susie Hunter (working with landscape architect Sally Rickett) is entirely covered with rubber play top complete with mini hills, a stage, speaking tubes and an abstracted house sculpture with niches, steps and alcoves.
The overall arts project will be completed in spring 2005 with the installation of a range of colourful seating in the primary and pods in the nursery by Susie Hunter and specially designed signage and environmental graphics by artist/designer Lucy Richards.
The whole public arts project has received no less than 5 Scottish Arts Council National Lottery awards and an award from the RSA Art and Architecture Scheme.
Images of all the artworks: www.paceprojects.org/CSA_secondary.html
For info contact Juliet Dean at
or call 0131 620 0445.
The Community School of Auchterarder near Gleneagles is an entirely new campus, run by Education & Children’s Services, Perth & Kinross Council. Completed in autumn 2004, it provides improved facilities and increased accommodation for children of all ages: nursery, primary, secondary and also provision for adults in line with the Council’s commitment to Life Long Learning.
Co-ordinated by arts agency P.A.C.E. who have developed a number of award winning schemes eg artworks for the Edinburgh Dental Institute and BT Scotland headquarters at Edinburgh Park. Current projects include a major public art
programme for the new Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital and a wind energy sculpture for Ayrshire.
The graphic design for the pavement was carried out by Why Not associates. Previous work by Gordon Young includes the 'Flock of Words'; in Morecambe, a 300 m long typographical pavement of poems, song lyrics and sayings relating to birds; the Eric Morecambe Memorial area; the Cursing Stone at Tullie house Museum in Carlisle, and the Plymouth Waterfront Walkway. He is currently working on the redevelopment of Blackpool including gateways/climbing walls, a magic carpet and the redesign of the Blackpool illuminations.
Samantha Clark is a graduate from Edinburgh College of Art. She has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad and has undertaken residencies in Tasmania, Grizedale Forest, Cumbria and is currently completing a residency in Basel.
Susie Hunter is a graduate from Glasgow School of Art. Since 1992 she has been collaborating with artist Iain Kettles on sculptures and installations, many of which are inflatable. They have exhibited nationally and internationally; exhibitions include Here & Now: Scottish Art 1990-2001 and Air Space - an interactive exhibition for children in Denmark.
Lucy Richards is a designer who runs her own award winning practice Studio LR. Recent projects include environmental graphics for the new Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital.
Landscaping designed by Sally Rickett, Landscape Services, Perth and Kinross Council.
Buildings designed by Glasgow based architects Anderson Bell + Christie; a practice with an established reputation for high quality architectural and urban design, recognised by the Architecture Foundation as one of UK's 'New Architects'. AB+C collaborate with artists as a way of adding meaning and value to their work.
Auchterarder Community School images / information from Anderson Bell + Christie