New Fettes College campus in China starts to take shape
Work has begun on a new campus in China for an iconic Edinburgh private school.
Fettes College, which counts former Prime Minister Tony Blair among its alumni, will be used as a model to create a new college almost 6,000 miles away in the southern port city of Guangzhou.
It will accommodate 2,320 students and over 300 staff, many of whom will live on site.
The 133,000 metres squared building is scheduled for completion in September 2020.
The new build will mimic the design of the original school building in Edinburgh, with a similar facade, colonnades and arches.
It will do away with traditional school playgrounds, and feature space for reflection, activity and sports.
It is understood the new school will copy the Fettes Edinburgh model of nine separate houses.
An “urban village” on the campus will comprise library pods, cafeteria and sports facilities.
A kindergarten, primary, middle and senior school will make up the campus, each with a different building.
The grounds will also house allotments and sunken gardens designed to withstand heavy rain, in a bid to bring students closer to the environment and nature, and inspire them to become “stewards” of their environment.
International architecture and design firm Broadway Malyan was commissioned to design the school, one of 16 international and bilingual schools it is currently involved in designing across Asia.
Broadway Malyan education lead Harry Hoodless said Bright Scholar aims to set a new educational benchmark in China.
He said: “Fettes has a strong reputation and fantastic heritage and so the aim of this project was capture each element that combines to create such a powerful educational brand and subtly adapt it for the Chinese market.
“Our approach for the masterplan was focused on marrying the unique identity of the place that Guangzhou offered with the best parts of Fettes – not necessarily replicating the Gothic architecture but trying to replicate the unique ethos that has made it so successful for 150 years.”
Fettes College, a private, co-educational, independent school, charges annual fees of just under £34,000 – the highest in Scotland.
It was originally opened in 1870 as a boarding school for boys, but became co-ed in 1983.
Currently the school is open to boarding and day pupils, though more than two-thirds of pupils board.
The main building, designed by David Bryce and built in 1863-9, is inspired by the Loire chateau and influenced by the 19th century Scottish baronial style of architecture. The school is named after Sir William Fettes, twice Lord Provost of Edinburgh.