RIAS Awards 2022 – Scottish Borders Council wins Client of the Year Award for pioneering Jedburgh school

Scottish Borders Council has been named by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) as Client of the Year, in recognition of its role as client at Jedburgh Grammar Campus. The new school, designed by Stallan-Brand Architecture + Design, is an exceptional new building that places students’ mental health and well-being at the heart of its design.

The Client of the Year Award is a special category within the annual RIAS Awards, and is sponsored by The Survey Association.

Stallan-Brand Architecture + Design nominated Scottish Borders Council for the RIAS Client of the Year Award in recognition of their role as an imaginative and confident client. Scottish Borders Council had tasked the architects with radically reimagining how a secondary school can work, and to move away from the one-size-fits-all approach of institutional school architecture. The Council recognised that traditional school design is incompatible with student-centred learning as embodied in Scotland’s progressive ‘3-18 Curriculum for Excellence’, and in many cases is compounding the mental health crisis faced by young people in Scotland today.

The concept of ‘nurture’ is generally confined to early years education – but not at Jedburgh Grammar. Here, the empathetic cut-off when students move into secondary education is swerved, thanks to a design that prioritises their mental health and well-being, and embodies a more Scandinavian-style ‘studio school’ where studios for each year encourage dynamic learning. Stallan-Brand Architecture + Design’s approach has created flexible spaces that allow students to take ownership of their space, and instead of generic classrooms offers a variety of places for students to learn, present, socialise, make and retreat.

RIAS President Christina Gaiger PRIAS said:

“Scottish Borders Council have shown bravery by not just doing the norm: rejecting traditional thinking and instead embracing a progressive approach that recognises the transformative role of architecture. At Jedburgh Grammar Campus this has created spaces for learning that empower teachers and students alike, rightly placing their well-being and mental health alongside their educational needs. Their boldness, imagination and support for Stallan-Brand Architecture + Design shines through, and the result is an exceptional building that should be a model for schools everywhere.”

The Survey Association President Nick Hampson FRICS FCInstCES said:

“The Survey Association represents a quality standard for businesses that provide the measured surveys that sit at the foundation of every design. With the advent of BIM our work with modelled 3D data increasingly interfaces further into the design and construction process and we are delighted to be involved with sponsoring this award post-construction. It is pleasing to see a winner whose design has prioritised mental health and wellbeing and we enthusiastically support the concept of creating a more uplifting environment for student education in Scotland in the twenty first century.”

For more information about the winners of the 2022 RIAS Awards visit www.rias.org.uk.


Notes to editors

High resolution press images are available for download here

Christina Gaiger PRIAS (RIAS President) is available for interview.

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) was founded in 1916 as the professional body for all chartered architects in Scotland and is the foremost institute in the country dealing with architecture and the built environment. A champion of architecture and the built environment in Scotland, the RIAS supports the interests of its growing membership, united through its six regional Chapters, to promote the importance of well-designed buildings and places.

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The Survey Association (TSA) was formed in 1979 and now has private land survey company members in all areas of the geospatial profession. TSA represents members on a wide variety of initiatives including the Survey Liaison Group, the GEO Business Show, Defra Flood Forum, BSI drafting panels, the UK BIM Alliance and continual Government lobbying. TSA is governed by a Council of 12, elected from the Full Member companies. A full-time Secretariat, based in Newark-on-Trent, runs the operational side of the Association. In 2014, TSA took over the running of The Survey School, the only commercial survey training centre in the UK, which offers a variety of short courses alongside the flagship TSA Surveying Course.

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