The Barony Campus Cumnock, East Ayrshire, UK
Situated on a 19.8-hectare site, the innovative new Barony Campus consolidates five schools into one shared community campus, creating a centre for education for the towns of Cumnock, Auchinleck and the surrounding area. The project for East Ayrshire Council, and based on standards set by the Scottish Futures Trust, includes a secondary school (for 1,633 pupils), a primary school (517 pupils), a nursery (240 children), an 80-place supported learning centre, 30 additional places for students with special educational requirements, playing fields and sport facilities.
Set into the landscape on a radial geometry, the design helps to break down the overall mass of the building, minimising visual impact and giving each element of the school its own identity. Principles of the local design vernacular, such as brick, sandstone and pitched roofs, were used to mediate between the scale of the school and the adjacent residential developments, ensuring that the school feels at home in its sensitive environment.
The school buildings have been conceived and organised as four connected structures, which define the main user groups—primary and early education, dining and assembly, secondary, and sport—linked by an internal elevated route that cuts through the atria and connects each of the blocks. One of the key aspects of the brief was focused on making connections between the different parts of the campus whilst maintaining an individual identity for each part. This supports and encourages progression, creating a sequence of connected spaces that students move through as they grow older and their abilities change.
The blocks feature internal shared courtyards and breakout atrium spaces, offering natural supervision and visual connection from the elevated walkways. These spaces are wrapped with classrooms, with the connecting arterial route creating movement, activity, and energy. The scale of the internal shared spaces allows for a range of agile teaching, presentation and social settings, an approach which grew from the client’s highly creative brief.
The design was deliberately opened to the community, with public routes integrated into the landscape, linking to community facilities arranged around the heart of the school, including an Enterprise Kitchen to support home cooking skills and a Community Café to promote health and wellbeing. The Hall and music facilities are available to local community groups, including acting as a new home for the Cumnock Tryst, while a dedicated Life and Computer Skills Classrooms supports employability.
Sustainability was at the heart of the design from the outset. A dedicated biomass facility within the energy centre provides a sustainable energy supply to the buildings, serving the campus and providing a future connection to the neighbouring leisure centre, while central roofscapes featuring PV panels to collect as much natural energy as possible.
- East Ayrshire Council
- 23,000 m2
- Scottish Design Awards - Winner
- AJ Architecture Awards - Shortlisted + awaiting result