History in Structure

Whiting Bay Primar School, Whiting Bay, Isle of Arran

A Category C Listed Building in Ardrossan and Arran, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.4955 / 55°29'43"N

Longitude: -5.0941 / 5°5'38"W

OS Eastings: 204649

OS Northings: 626765

OS Grid: NS046267

Mapcode National: GBR FGS5.Z9Q

Mapcode Global: WH1NB.Q4GD

Plus Code: 9C7PFWW4+69

Entry Name: Whiting Bay Primar School, Whiting Bay, Isle of Arran

Listing Name: Whiting Bay Primary School, Whiting Bay, Isle of Arran

Listing Date: 11 April 2016

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 405982

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52379

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200405982

Location: Kilbride

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Ardrossan and Arran

Parish: Kilbride

Traditional County: Buteshire

Tagged with: Primary school Architectural structure

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Whiting Bay Primary School was designed by Baron Bercott and Associates in 1963-1967 and extended in 1978. It is situated on the east coast of Arran and overlooks the Firth of Clyde towards the mainland. The main entrance is to the rear. It is a single-storey Late Modern school building composed of a row of 3 pitched-roof classrooms interspersed with slightly advanced white triangular sections at ground level. These are linked by a flat-roofed corridor with narrow window openings, to a tall, monopitched-roof section to the north with low horizontal-glazing. The building is concrete rendered with timber boarding decoration at gables and below window openings and with orange coloured metal roof covering to the classrooms. At the south, a right-angled triangular section forms a play-shelter.

The flat-roofed extension to the southwest which contains the library and classroom dates to 1978.

There is a variety of window types, including plate-glass fixed, casement and bottom-opening windows.

The interior was seen in 2015 and the internal room arrangement largely remains as it was conceived in 1967 and 1978. There is a corridor to the rear with classroom entrances off this. The dining hall is situated at the north end of the building. Offices are situated between the classrooms and the dining hall. There is timber boarding to the corridor ceiling with regularly spaced skylights. The dining hall has timber boarding to the serving area and a high, narrow angled area immediately in front of this. The classrooms are irregularly shaped inside, reflecting their external diamond shape. Two of the classrooms have low sinks.

Statement of Interest

Whiting Bay Primary School dates from 1963 and is by the Glasgow architect firm of Baron Bercott and Associates. The distinctive triangular form of the classrooms is an unusual design feature, with no known precedent, and the overall geometric form of the building adds a playful element suiting its function as a primary school. The use of the triangle also echoes boat sails and is therefore a response to its coastal location. The variety of materials and colour demonstrate a considered approach to the design of the building and this is confirmed by the use of some design features both outside and inside the building. The building is situated on the main road in the village of Whiting Bay with the classrooms overlooking the Firth of Clyde to the east. It was built to replace an earlier school which had been on the same site and was officially opened on 5th June 1968.

After the Second World War, there was a general demand for new schools as a result of the rise in the population and the raising of the school leaving age to 15 in 1947. The designs of these schools were varied, as new materials allowed for more flexibility of space and new philosophies of education led to specific design features being incorporated. These included low windows to allow all the children to see out, small sinks for ease of use, and the ability for spaces to become more flexible as teaching in small groups was encouraged. Colour was often used to brighten internal and external spaces. Internal plan forms moved away from long internal corridors with classrooms off to those with central courtyards with surrounding classrooms, and open-plan rooms with movable screens which could provide spaces of differing sizes. By the 1960s, a variety of designs and plan forms were in use and there was no single preferable plan form in Scotland.

Baron Bercott studied at the University of Liverpool and moved to Glasgow in 1985. By 1964, he was practising as Baron Bercott and Associates, and there were 12 architects and technicians working in the practice. He was responsible for a number of other schools in the west of Scotland, some of which have been demolished. At the time of writing in April 2016, none of his other buildings are listed.

External Links

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