Blairdardie Primary School, Glasgow

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Replace an existing school building with a strong three-dimensional form, robustness due to the harsh West of Scotland climate combined with attractive aesthetics were important priorities.


Blairdardie is a replacement for an existing school building on the site. Architect Holmes Miller designed the building as a simple volume with some parts removed to give a strong, three-dimensional form.

The entrance to the games hall is marked by a column with excavated space behind it. A double height brick colonnade was added to the front sports hall elevation due to its prominence along a major arterial route into Glasgow. The south elevation was treated with a much more restrained language due to the regularity of the classroom fenestration in this area.

The architect chose brick because it is a textured modular material that helps bring down the scale to a more human level, and adds a degree of richness and quality to the building envelope.

Ibstock’s Ivanhoe Cream multi-stock brick further added to this richness and contrasted well with the consistent tone of the fibre cement cladding used within the entrance recesses. It was also seen as more suitable than a dark brick, as it helped soften the scale of the building in its prominent and open location.

The irregular and uneven sides of the brickwork added to the overall textured appearance of the project, creating a highly successful element of the building envelope.  Not only providing a robust material that can cope with the harsh West of Scotland climate, and daily wear and tear of a primary school, but also creating an attractive aesthetic to the development. This adds a great deal of quality to the minimalist building form.

Brickwork contractor: BAM Construction

Client/Developer: Glasgow City Council