Wester Hailes Learning Centre for Community Arts: Zoo Architects Edinburgh

Wester Hailes Learning Centre by Zoo Architects

New Building for Community Arts, Wester Hailes by Zoo Architects, Lothian, Scotland

post updated 23 October 2023

Wester Hailes Learning Centre Building

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, crèche 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.


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