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Designing an agile and flexible space for an evolving education campus

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Design3


University of Dundee





At the heart of this project was a comprehensive review of the existing estate to define a vision for future growth and estate development.

The background

Oberlanders were appointed to develop a major programme of refurbishment, alteration and upgrading works to the Duncan Jordanstone College of Art and Design and the School of Architecture for the University of Dundee, phased over a number of years. As home to the school of architecture, the college was home for many Oberlanders staff and alumni throughout their training years.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Design5
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Design1

The design approach

Packages of work included major replacement and upgrading of the external envelope including roof glazing and window replacements.  The project sought opportunities to improve the student and teaching experience through redevelopment of teaching and learning spaces in addition to the creation of new social and breakout areas, improved access and connectivity within and around the buildings and general improvements to how the College campus integrated with the rest of the University and surrounding urban environment. 

The project was divided into several phases and delivered a new statement glass box entrance on Perth Road, a new internal ‘College Street’ providing flexible and informal teaching and learning facilities, a cafe, a shop, new IT and media teaching studios, and a collaborative ‘turn and learn’ lecture theatre.  New space was provided for Interior Design, Digital Interaction, Product Design, Jewellery and Post Graduate studies as well as refurbished studios for Architecture and Fine Art and refurbishment of the Francis Cooper Gallery.

Work was carefully planned to ensure maximum opportunity was made of holiday periods when the campus is typically quieter to minimise disruption to the student teaching environment and campus activities.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Design

The impact

The project has created agile and flexible space for an evolving pedagogy within the College. Spaces can be adapted and interchanged easily to suit a variety of different creative arts subjects.

Philip Macdonald Managing Partner Sector Lead

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