Media Release: ARPL Architects win Roses Design Awards for Colmonell Primary School


COLMONELL Primary School has scooped two prestigious silver awards in the annual Roses Design Awards for its iconic and outstanding design.

The school was nominated in both the Sustainability and Education categories, celebrating the very best in innovation, sustainability and architecture across the UK.

The awards were presented to Ayr-based ARPL Architects Ltd, who designed the school, at a ceremony in Manchester.

South Ayrshire Councillor Hywel Davies, portfolio holder for Lifelong Learning, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Colmonell Primary has won these plaudits, especially in two very keenly contested categories of the Roses Design Awards.

“Architects for the project were Gordon Fleming and Stewart Glendinning of ARPL Architects Ltd, and their vision for a rural school fully at home with the environment has been realised in the cutting edge design and build of this fantastic school.”

Credit was also given to others involved in the project including structural engineers, Hodgin Smith Partnership, environmental engineers, FLN Consulting and quantity surveyors, Armour Construction.

Gordon Fleming from ARPL Architects Ltd said: “We are delighted that our design work for Colmonell Primary school has been recognised in the UK-wide Roses Design Awards for 2011.

“The brief set by South Ayrshire Council had very high aspirations for a new sustainable village school. Our design solution sought to fulfil these aims with a forward looking design which anticipates the educational and environmental needs of the coming decades.

“The use of innovative design ideas in layout, materials and construction helps provide a rich and engaging experience for the children in a healthy natural environment.

“For the school to succeed in both the education and sustainable design categories of this awards scheme is especially welcoming given the very strong competition from around the country. This recognition combined with the enthusiastic reception for the new school from the pupils, parents and local residents demonstrates the level of success which can be achieved by a dedicated client and a committed local design team.”

Councillor Davies continued: “The building works were completed by Ashleigh Construction in December 2010 and the children have been very enthusiastic about their new school, describing it, quite appropriately, as the school that nature built.”

The school now has the chance to win another national honour, as it has been nominated for a Glasgow Institute of Architecture award, in the Education category, with results due on Friday 11th November 2011.

Councillor Bill McIntosh, leader of South Ayrshire Council, commented: “Providing a high quality and eco-friendly learning environment was at the heart of our strategic planning for Colmonell Primary School.

“The brief was challenging – to design and build a school taking best advantage of daylight, natural ventilation, environmentally responsible building materials and avoiding harmful chemicals, while at the same time delivering a state of the art school and a fantastic learning environment for our young pupils.

“The results speak for themselves.

“The bright, airy and well designed teaching spaces are outstanding, supported by a main dining and sports hall, a central open area with library and a wide range of educational resources, internally and outside in the landscaped exterior.

“I’m delighted the school has been honoured in the Roses Design Awards and look forward to the GIA announcement later this month.”

Councillor Davies concluded: “The school is a credit to the architects, designers, builders and agencies involved in its creation and thoroughly deserving of the plaudits received.

“However, the young pupils at Colmonell are doing outstandingly well and, in my opinion, they are the real winners in this iconic and brilliant building.”

ARPL Architects Ltd

The directors of ARPL Architects Ltd are Patrick Lorimer, Robert Gilliland, Gordon Fleming, and Rebecca Cadie with John Ramsay, Stewart Glendinning and Kenneth Handley as associates.

The ARPL philosophy is to produce buildings to the highest design standards in close consultation with its clients. Designs are innovative and sympathetic to both the immediate and the broader environment in which they are constructed, with an emphasis on sustainability. Each project embraces the unique nature of the client’s needs and the site.

Over the 36 years since Patrick Lorimer established the original practice, ARPL’s status in the profession has grown steadily in line with its position as a medium-sized practice with a reputation for well executed projects. From its base in Ayr the practice carries out projects over a wide geographical area from the Orkneys and the Western Isles to Ireland.

The firm’s project experience covers the fields of housing, churches, schools, commercial projects, private houses, community and arts buildings. Particular expertise has been developed in contemporary sustainable design, specialist conservation works and design for historically sensitive environments.

ARPL’s work has received wide recognition through numerous design and environmental awards presented over the years for its new build and conservation works. Regular success in design competitions adds to the practice portfolio.

ARPL are currently working on new and refurbishment housing for Lochside, Ayr, several church and castle conservation and restoration projects and new community facilities in the South West of Scotland. Appointments for church commissions involve a range of denominations and projects from conservation and repair to extensions and new build. The firm is also involved in country houses and estates and the design of new houses for private owners.

The practice typically handles projects with construction values ranging from £100k through to £15m.

ARPL directors have managed to keep their business stable during the current difficult times, and have a busy current workload.


ARPL Architects Ltd

Architects and Quantity Surveyors

11 Wellington Square

Ayr KA7 1EN

Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: Patrick Lorimer

Tel: 01292 289777

Fax: 01292 288896



ARPL Architects Ltd is a founder member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is an association founded in 2007 by some of the top companies in Ayrshire.

Its purpose is to publicise its members, and to celebrate and promote the wealth and rich diversity of entrepreneurial talent and business excellence that abounds here within the county boundaries of Ayrshire.

Members include the Clydesdale Bank, Ayr Racecourse, Western House Hotel, Turnberry Golf Resort and South Ayrshire Council. Member company activities include broadcasting, building and construction, architectural practice, estate agency and land management, chartered accountancy, insurance broking, legal services, golf club management, marketing services and brand creation, web design and public relations consultancy.

Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors senior partner Norman Geddes is executive chair of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, and managing director is public relations consultancy Fame Publicity Services proprietor Murdoch MacDonald.

For further information about The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and to apply for membership, e-mail


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Contact: Murdoch MacDonald
Phone: 01292 281498