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Collective wins contest for Camphill School revamp

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Glasgow-based Collective Architecture has won the RIAS-organised contest for a £10 million revamp of two Camphill School campuses in Aberdeen

The practice was chosen ahead of rival bids by Edinburgh-based jmarchitects; Glasgow’s Anderson Bell + Christie and Hoskins Architects; James F Stephen Architects from Angus, and Scott Brownrigg – which has an office in the Scottish capital.

The six shortlisted teams were selected from more than 50 entries to the RIAS-organised contest. The competition sought conceptual proposals for a 10-year overhaul of the pioneering Rudolf Steiner-inspired day and residential school for children and young adults with special support needs.

The project will transform the school’s Murtle Estate and Camphill Estate campuses, both located on the suburban western fringes of Aberdeen. Planned improvements – ranging in value from £50,000 to £2.5 million – include refurbishments and the reconstruction of three residential blocks.

Camphill School, Aberdeen

Camphill School, Aberdeen

Existing building at Camphill School, Aberdeen

Mairi Laverty of Collective said: ‘Collective Architecture is delighted to have won the Camphill School Aberdeen competition. The project vision for Camphill School Aberdeen is inspiring and builds on their pioneering approach and legacy.

‘Our concept design sought to respond to both the tranquil site and the particular needs and aspirations of residents, volunteers and staff. We look forward to working with Camphill School over the coming months and years to deliver a unique and ambitious project that will stand the test of time for the school and wider community.’

Kathleen Scott, Camphill School Aberdeen (CSA) director of finance and corporate services, said: ‘We have been overwhelmed by the response to the competition and very impressed by the overall standard of all of the shortlisted practices. CSA are delighted that Collective Architecture have won this closely contested competition and look forward to working with them to deliver our long-term campus wide vision’.

The school was founded in 1939 by a group of educators including Austrian paediatrician Karl König, to provide educational and employment support to children and young people with learning difficulties.

The school moved to the Camphill Estate in 1940 and now operates out of three separate campuses in the local area. The facility inspired the ‘Camphill Movement’, which has seen more than 100 similar centres set up around the world.

Planned improvements include the refurbishment of Murtle Hall and Camphill House, improvements to the Murtle campus swimming pool, and the reconstruction of the Mignon, St Tiernan’s and St Andrews residential houses.

Other upgrades include the delivery of a new workshop for young adults, a bed-sit accommodation block for volunteers and apprentices, and a new residential house on the Camphill Estate.

Collective Architecture will receive a £2,500 prize and the design commission. The other finalists will each take home £1,500.

The shortlist

  • jmarchitects
  • Collective Architecture
  • Scott Brownrigg
  • Hoskins Architects
  • Anderson Bell + Christie
  • James F Stephen Architects
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