Wester Hailes Learning Centre for Community Arts: Zoo Architects

Wester Hailes Learning Centre

for Community Arts, Wester Hailes by Zoo Architects

WHALE Learning Centre for Community Arts
Wester Hailes Art Leisure and Education

Westburn Grove, Wester Hailes, Edinburgh

Contract Value:

Peter Walker Construction Limited

Date Completed:
October 2000

Project Team:
Peter Richardson

Project Architect:
Alan Pert, Gary Johnson, Robin Lee

The project provides a permanent purpose built community Arts Centre for Wester Hailes Art Leisure and Education (WHALE). The final design was developed over a 5 year consultation period with the client, user’s and disability advisers. The building provides a variety of flexible spaces including an exhibition space, workshop, teaching dark room, social area, performance area, creche and offices.

Consideration of the environmental impact of the building was an integral part of the design process. The design incorporates a ”green” roof, uses recycled newspaper for insulation, under floor heating and reclaimed timber flooring. The orientation has been organised to maximise the natural lighting and passive solar gain utilising glazed vertical and horizontal surfaces.

The WH ALE Learning Centre has been designed to be flexible and robust, which will  provides a much needed focus for community arts in Wester Hailes . This will enable the  client to expand their award winning programme and offer the opportunity to encourage new participation.

Funding was secured via the Scottish Arts Council Lottery Fund, Edinburgh City Council and LEEL.


Key Whiteburn Project : The Tun
Winner of two British Council for Offices Awards in 2003

Cowgate Edinburgh : Housing

Allan Murray Architects : A1 Building

Comments / photos for the Zoo Architects, Wester Hailes Buildings page welcome

Zoo Architects Edinburgh : page