Merchiston Castle School (MCS), an independent boarding school containing historic buildings set in mature parkland, has grown significantly and successfully over the last decade to reach its maximum anticipated pupil numbers. This growth has led MCS to review their sports requirements and expectations from pupils in order to remain competitive with other boarding schools in Scotland. This review concluded that a new 2G Astro hockey pitch was required to meet their future demands.
Within the landscape and conservation context of the campus, h+m considered alternative sites for the new facility, working with MCS and SAC to determine the appropriate standard of pitch required and associated requirements. This process identified a site to the north of the campus, adjacent to the existing squash building, as the most appropriate location, and h+m then masterplanned a long term layout for this area of the grounds, incorporating the new pitch, a future combined squash, fives and changing building, car parking and staff housing. As part of this process, a series of design parameters were established in relation to the proposed level of the pitch, fencing details and measures to limit the impact of floodlighting.
Given the sensitive nature of the site, on the edge of the Colinton Conservation Area, h+m led consultations with City of Edinburgh Council and coordinated the planning application, which was approved in 2015. h+m worked with SAC on the detailed design proposals, ensuring that the design coordinated with the overall masterplan vision for this part of the campus. Project constructed in 2016.