AHR completes £39 million development of new levenmouth education campus

AHR has completed the 23,000sqm development of the Levenmouth Education Campus for Fife Council as part of the Scottish Government’s Schools for the Future Programme.

This new learning campus merges Buckhaven High School with Kirkland High School and Community College, with a new Fife College building, with shared facilities, all constructed within the grounds of the former Buckhaven High School.

The school building has purposely been set back from Methilhaven Road to create an entrance plaza to connect both the new college and the school facilities. This external feature space defines the boundary between the built form, delineating between public and private space and provides a linkage between the communities of Methil, Methilhill and Buckhaven. Public presence is enhanced by the mix of modern rainscreen cladding and full height glazing with traditional brick elements, referencing Methil and Buckhaven’s indigenous ‘Methil brick’ industry. The external sports provision comprises of two grass football pitches, three rugby pitches, a 400m grass running track, a FIFA rated ‘all weather sports pitch’ and athletic provision.

The new Levenmouth Academy provides 18,000sq m of new secondary school facilities for 1800 pupils, including outstanding internal and external sports provision set within a newly developed external landscape. A double height social space is the ‘heart’ of the school and provides a focal point for access, interaction, dining and way-finding. This feature element is highly visible on approach, demonstrating the open ethos of the school. Numerous double height spaces, with bridges across voids and glazed balustrades, create a generous sense of space, admitting light and providing visual connections.

AHR’s design supports multifunctional use of key areas; the dining area opens directly onto social space allowing for a myriad of functions to take place, from socialising, to large group gatherings, to small study groups and community use. The school design, specifically allows for areas to be made available for community use, whilst maintaining a secure lock-down to other areas.

The integrated landscape design was completed by AHR’s in-house team and provides inside/outside connections to a social courtyard at the heart of the campus. Educational access to a species rich Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) pond is enabled through the provision of a timber jetty over the water. Perimeter native woodlands enhance biodiversity whilst providing long-term shelterbelt protection for the exposed sports pitches and screening to future housing expansion.

Stuart Bryson, Regional Director at AHR said:

‘We are proud to have delivered such a unique campus that builds upon the established reputation of both Buckhaven and Kirkland schools, creating a new joint identity and ethos. The new campus integrates both secondary and further education improving education standards for the whole community of Fife.’

The school building achieves a ‘Platinum Standard’ sustainability level, measured against Fife Council’s own ‘Sustainability Checklist, incorporating high quality, functional and sustainable design, meeting the requirements of the Scottish Government`s `Curriculum for excellence’.

The campus has been entered for the Making Space 2016 and DIA Design Awards.