The High School of Dundee has submitted plans for the conversion of the city’s former General Post Office to accommodate a visual and performing arts centre.

Serving as a home for the schools art, music, drama and home economics departments the development will incorporate a range of studio, performance and practice spaces as well as a signature spiral staircase which will be cast in-situ.

Page\Park Architects have been appointed to oversee the work, which calls for restoration and conversion of the existing building alongside construction of a feature entrance and circulation space on the site of a 1960s loading bay.

The most visible sign of change will be the addition of a pre-cast concrete clad extension designed to project a modern image of the school to the city whilst completing a corner block.

In their design statement the architects said: “We have chosen to introduce two monolithic slabs to define the corner, embedding the new building within its context whilst matching the weight and permanence of the existing buildings. Metaphorically these two slabs represent the anchoring of the schools traditional values of hard work and self-discipline whilst echoing the rigour and order of the main school building’s classical form.

“These external walls conceal the more delicate and fluid structure of the spiral stair behind which is divided into a series of landings that rise up to offer various breakout and teaching spaces. The structure of the stair is gradually revealed beneath the north-facing stepped stone wall and as the building turns the corner at Euclid Street it rises up to offer a full-height grid of stepped platforms and views back towards the main school.”

Work to complete the new centre is expected to carry through until 2020.

Source: Urban Realm

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