Lairdsland Primary School

Walters and Cohen, Kirkintilloch, 2015


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Children play in the landscaped grounds 

Dennis Gilbert     Download Original

  • Children play in the landscaped grounds    
  • The school fronts on to the Forth and Clyde Canal     
  • Larch cladding    
  • Pupils spill out into the main circulation space    
  • Pupils are free to move around the landscaped grounds    
  • Ground-floor classroom    
  • Main circulation space with amphitheatre staircase    
  • The younger pupils    
  • Covered outdoor learning areas    
  • The amphitheatre staircase    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section A    
  • East elevation    
  • Lairdsland Sketch    
  • Lairdsland Sketch    
  • Detail Section A Canal Terrace    

Built as part of the Schools for the Future Programme, Lairdsland – some eight miles north of Glasgow city centre – is one of seven primary schools in the town and replaced a dilapidated Victorian school building in the town centre.

The linear, two-storey structure runs parallel to the Forth and Clyde Canal and is separated from the water by a strip of terrace and new soft landscaping to which the staff and pupils have controlled access. The north-west elevation is double height, almost fully glazed and fronts on to the canal. It is punctuated at its centre by larch, which clads a feature ‘amphitheatre’ staircase and the much higher gymnasium by the school’s visitor entrance.

Classrooms are to the south-east and the elevation here is layered with much greater depth of structure. It is defined by four ‘towers’, each of which marks entrances on the ground floor from the playground, giving the youngest pupils direct access to their classrooms, cloakrooms and toilets. The canalside location, the double-storey glazing and the internal free flow for those using the school were all locally-led design decisions.


  • Begun: Feb 2014
  • Completed: Apr 2015
  • Floor area: 2,108m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £7.3M
  • Procurement: Design and build
  • CO2 Emissions: 9kg/m2/year
  • Address: 70 Donaldson Street, Kirkintilloch, G66 1XS, United Kingdom

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