Ryder Architecture has submitted design proposals on behalf of East Dunbartonshire Council to replace the existing Boclair Academy in Bearsden.  The new design will deliver a state of the art learning environment for 1,050 pupils, which includes the provision of improved outdoor sport facilities alongside a fully integrated landscape design approach.

Design proposals have been developed through an extensive intelligent briefing process which has placed the aspirations of learners, teachers and the local community at the heart of the development, ensuring the strategic objectives of the project will be delivered.

The project will create an environment that supports collaborative approaches to teaching, learning and working.  To foster a cross-curricular approach, an organisational model was developed in which key subject areas who work closely together will be located within easy reach of each other.  In addition, a rich mix of interdisciplinary, thematic, and subject focused learning experiences will be supported by flexible and agile learning environments.  The plan is arranged to ensure that pupils in various years can see those in other years learning and working together throughout the school.  The spatial design of the building will enable teachers to use the different types of spaces to deliver their lessons in alternative and more informal formats.


Ryder has developed the landscape design as an integral part of the development to create holistic internal and external learning environments that fully integrate into the semi rural setting.  The new school will be predominantly two storeys to flow with the undulating level changes across the site and reduce visual impact to neighbouring properties.

The approach taken towards material selection and composition of elements is one of simplicity and rigour, whilst being cognisant of the historical local vernacular.  Traditionally in Bearsden and nearby Milngavie, high quality materials such as sandstone and facing brick were extensively used to construct buildings of importance.  By referencing the quality, textures and colours of the nearby historic villas – along with the listed Kilmardinny House – a carefully curated material palette of neutral tone brickwork seamlessly ties the school to its context.  Deep reveals to window and door openings establish a sense of weight and permanence within the brick base, whilst a uniform parapet line ties all elements of the brick base together.

A lightweight ‘light box’ to the north east of the school, which houses the school’s art department, sits atop the brick base.  Deliberately articulated to provide a sense of verticality in direct contrast to the solidity of the brick below, the light box allows for views toward the Campsie Fells and River Kelvin Valley.

The project will be delivered through the SCAPE process, whilst an application for planning consent has been submitted by Barton Willmore.