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Allan Murray reveals ‘best school in Europe’

Allan Murray Architects has unveiled plans for Boroughmuir High School – billed by Edinburgh City Council as the ‘best urban school in Europe’

Planned to open in 2016, the £28 million scheme replaces Boroughmuir High School’s existing home in a Victorian building nearby.

The 1,165-pupil building features an atrium ‘heart’, collaborative break out areas and a roof-top games area.

Located on Edinburgh’s Fountain Quay brownfield regeneration plot, the 13,000m² project also includes a new public park following Union Canal.

The first images of the scheme have emerged almost a year after the local-based practice was chosen for the high-profile job.

In January last year Edinburgh City Council announced it was seeking the ‘best architecturally led team to deliver the best urban school in Europe’ on the site.

Commenting on the unveiled plans, Boroughmuir High School head teacher David Dempster said: ‘The “new” Boroughmuir High School looks to be shaping up to all we dreamed of – and more. Outline designs show a school which is innovative, inspiring and definitely fitting to be our new school.

‘The building nestles in a beautiful setting, adjacent to the canal-side park with a definite and impressive entrance plaza to welcome visitors.’

Allan Murray said: ‘This design for Boroughmuir High School retains some of the best aspects of the current school, and seeks to create a welcoming environment with dramatic and inspirational spaces for learning both inside and outside the building.’

The City of Edinburgh Council purchased the Fountain Quay site from Lloyds Banking Group in December 2011.

7N and Michael Laird were appointed to masterplan the 5.2 hectare plot overlooking Union Canal in February.

Work is planned to start on Allan Murray’s design, which has been worked up with Buro Happold’s Copenhagen-based education team, in summer 2014.

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