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Shifting Pedagogies - Buckie Community + Learning Resource Centre

Part 2 Project 2009
Greig Penny
Robert Gordon University Aberdeen UK
There is a distinct need for the development of knowledge based jobs within Buckie. The proposed Community + Learning Resource Centre seeks to subtly shift the way the community approaches learning by integrating flexible IT spaces, an educational library and bookable classroom/studio spaces with various community facilities. The centre sits on the coastal edge offering romantic views north across the Moray Firth, its form reminiscent of quartzite stone formations found along the north east coast of Scotland. Meandering along the narrow site responding to built context, orientation, views and internal function, the centre adopts a familiar palette of materials and alters them to offer something strangely familiar within the context of Buckie.

The Buckie Community + Learning Resource Centre approaches sustainability in both a technical and social manner. The realisation of the building will utilise local trades and all elements will be sourced predominantly within the Moray area with one of Buckie harbour’s sheet metal suppliers preparing the perforated corrugated sheet metal cladding. The primary structure however adopts engineered solid timber panels which will arrive by boat at Buckie’s timber port from Austria and transported two minutes along the coast to the site. All construction detailing is carried out using ‘design for deconstruction’ methods whereby the different building layers are organised akin to Stewart Brand’s layers diagram with the intention for maintenance and re-use. The centre utilises a 100kW biomass boiler. Located in plan adjacent to the passing road the boiler is served by an external pellet store with an adequate access road for simple and efficient ‘dumping’ of pellets, which are sourced within the Moray area. With adaptability key in the planning process the building will remain a valuable resource to the community. The building will be monitored and used as a case study by the Moray Sustainable Development Research Centre.

Greig Penny

‘Shifting pedagogies’ is one of eighteen projects which together explore the qualities, opportunities and challenges of small towns in Scotland in 2009. Set in Buckie, a historic fishing town on the Moray Coast, Grieg’s project researched the potential role of education in the renewal and vitality of the community. The work was underpinned by in-depth research into education theory and through connections Greig made with education providers. In recognising the need for new facilities to meet current needs with future flexibility, Greig developed together; the brief, form, structure and materials for the building.
The architecture subtly references the form and materials of the industrial harbour buildings, and makes visual connections with the high town of Buckie. The roofscape, viewed from the town above was a carefully made elevation of the building and important source natural lighting. The layered skins of the elevations temper daylight and at night the walls light up - transforming the building.
The building is equally grounded in its exposed seaward landscape with north light most desired for education. Dramatic framed views of the lighthouse, harbour, rugged coast and pier add to this atmosphere.
The structure internally creates a sequence of volumes in which the roof planes define areas for the social and learning spaces, so that within the open plan there are natural gathering spaces. The interior surfaces of the dynamic forms are finished throughout with the timber inner face of the structural panels. This controlled palette provides both an economical solution and a calm, adaptable backdrop for education into the future.


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