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Large Secondary Galashiels

Designers:

Stallan Brand 7N Architects Graven Images


Stallan Brand


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

Stallan-Brand

Contents Brief Comment More Engaging, Accessible & Attractive More Fun, Welcoming & Heart More Interesting, Varied & Less Corridors Major Surgery Transformational New Landscape Whole New Approach Learning Streets Pavilions in the Park Lofty Ambitions Informal Learning

The ‘Memorial Courtyard’ Space Transformed to Create New Open Learning Hub & Cafe Social Area


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

Stallan-Brand

Brief Comment Further to the Architecture and Design Scotland Workshop that explored the potential for Galashiels Academy to benefit from new thinking with regards its existing learning environment. The school building and its immediate grounds is clearly tired and uninspiring and presently contributes very little to the pupil and staff experience. The A+DS team asked a mixed group of architects, teachers and representatives from the local authority to ‘think out the box’ and consider ‘remodelling’ ideas for the school that might not necessarily involve major capital expenditure but would serve to transform how the school functioned. After touring the school and better understanding the challenges the teachers faced we brainstormed and sketched alternate concepts and presented them within the group for comment. The collective identified a number of key areas where improvement would be welcome. Some of the areas identified were as follows; Paul Stallan

• Traffic management and parking provision on site is a significant problem that fundamentally compromises the staff and students relationship with the external environment. • The Academy is surrounded by high fences, service roads, restricted pupil access areas, refuse areas and areas for only timetable sports to the extent that the the School experience is akin to an inner city urban school despite being situated within a spectacular landscape. • The school building is a labyrinth of corridors with no break out or social areas for the pupil. The combination of minimal external space mentioned above together with no internal social areas for pupils is unsatisfactory. • The Academy buildings also serve to silo departments which discourages more contemporary and creative forms of learning from occurring. The buildings physical form isolates staff and does nothing to help engender a sense of community within the school. • It was tabled that through a space planning initiative specific activities and existing areas within the building could be either relocated or improved to radically re-imagine the experience. The ‘memorial courtyard’, the dining and assembly halls and the library space were three key areas that would greatly benefit from a re-think. • The Academy has an ‘old fashioned and institutional image’ that does not reflect the dynamic school culture.

The ideas, concepts and sketches following are not definitive but try to capture some of the free thinking that the workshop encouraged.


Galashiels Academy


More Engaging, Accessible & Attractive


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

More Engaging, Accesible & Attractive Engageing The potential for Galashiels Academy to better engage with its immediate context is extraordinary. The school building sits within a spectacular natural environment yet fails to interact with it. In short the Academy is like an island marooned in a green sea. Minimal investment and Some creative thinking could transform the site into a 21st century learning landscape. Accesible The Academy building appears like a traffic island surrounded by service roads and tarmac. Improved traffic management would release more space for pupils rather than cars. The buildings entrances are difficult to prioritise and badly signposted, again something that could be easily fixed with some new wayfinding. Attractive The architecture of Galashiels Academy is old fashioned and institutional. This ‘image’ can be countered by new thinking on how spaces are used both internal and external to the building. It might look institutional but a persons experience can be different.

Post-It Ideas ...

Stallan-Brand


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

Stallan-Brand

At every level the Academy could explore how to forge improved links; i.e. links with the community, with the surrounding landscape, right through to how internal departments could better link and collaborate to improve the learning experience for the pupil.

Conceptual Collage that Considers Improved Links with the Wider Environment


Leaving the architecture of the School untouched the potential to improve the very immediate environment of the school is in itself exciting.

New Transformational Galashiels Academy Landscape


More Fun, Welcoming & Heart


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

More Fun, Welcoming & Heart Fundamentally the Academy not only appears institutional but also is experienced as institutional especially with regards to the external space ‘controls’. Investing in new street furniture, shelters, wayfinding and landscaping would be an improvement together with a redefining of what external areas are off limits to pupils. There is a huge opportunity for instance to better utilise the space at the very centre of the school; i.e. the memorial courtyard space. presently this is a sad space both visually and philosophically. The memorial could be sensitively relocated to a more appropriate location to allow the school to have a dynamic new volume at its heart.

Post-It Ideas ...

Stallan-Brand


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

A new open learning hub at the very centre of the school that incorporates an internet cafe, library and social area for pupils would magically liberate the pupils to explore informal learning as the might experience in a modern college, university or Starbucks! The space would be a major asset to the school in lots of ways serving as a shared resource to unite the whole campus and break down departmental silos.

The New Hub being a Shared Resource Uniting the Whole C–––ampus

Stallan-Brand


The memorial courtyard roofed over to become an internal multi- functional space at the heart of the Academy.


The ‘Memorial Courtyard’ Space Transformed to Create New Open Learning Hub & Cafe Social Area


More Interesting, Varied & Less Corridors


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

More Interesting, Varied & Less Corridors Relocating the library from within the ‘teaching block’ to a more social environment, providing ‘trendy and tasty’ cafe style dining for pupils stopping them from going to Tesco and opening up corridors with more study and social breakout space are three areas that could be tackled to improve the school experience.

Post-It Ideas ...

Stallan-Brand


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

Another area that might be improved is the around the buildings perimeter elevation. The threshold between the inside of the building and the outside of the buildings is severe. using pergola type structures the Academy could offer a less hostile elevation and provide spaces for students to be outside but under cover. Presently when it rains the pupils force themselves into the restricted corridor areas of the building which is not ideal.

Academy Buildings are Presntly Hostile and Unforgiving

Stallan-Brand


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

A radical idea is to provide a new vertical circulation tower that would relive the tight overcrowded fire escape stairs. The new tower would open the side of the building up to create study balconies and break out spaces. The main teaching ‘slab’ would be changed from being a ‘corridor’ to providing pupil penthouses.

Pupil Penthouses

Stallan-Brand


New vertical circulation tower opening up the side of the school building providing much needed relief to ‘slabs’ introvert departmental interior.


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

Art & music department relocated onto the roof of the school accommodated in a series of funky sculptural art lofts to transform the schools stuffy image. In short a new hairstyle.


Art and Music Department on the Roof


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

ASSUMING new sport halls are provided the existing gym halls could be re appropriated as a wonderful new staff base. The existing staff rooms are horrible! In this space you would have big sofas, good coffee, sanded floors, yucca plants, informal break-out, meeting spaces and touch down laptop spaces!

Stallan-Brand


New Staff Base Separate from the Rest of the School a Space were Teachers can be Inspired!


Major Surgery


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

Transformational New Landscape Developing a dynamic landscape around the existing building would massively enhance the Academy’s offer. Without altering the existing architecture an investment in a creative landscape would benefit the pupils enormously.

Stallan-Brand


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

Whole New Approach Fundamentally re-engineering the buildings orientation so that its main entrance faces North onto a wonderful new public pupil space would change the schools disorganised image. Sacrifice here would be the relocation of the sports courts which presently give little to the school environment.

Stallan-Brand


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

Learning Streets Keeping the existing academic teaching block but expanding West to re-provide accommodation for those activities presently housed in low grade structures. This plan considers three parallel blocks with learning streets and lanes between to create a ‘little city in the microcosm’ school. The buildings following the landscape to frame courtyard spaces.

Stallan-Brand


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

Pavillions in the Park Again keeping the existing academic teaching block but expanding West (i.e. to re-provide accommodation for those activities presently housed in low grade structures); this plan considers pavilions buildings that breakdown into the landscape to capture interesting external and internal spaces branching from a central social space.

Stallan-Brand


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

Stallan-Brand

Lofty Ambitions Like a gigantic living room this design option keeps the existing academic block mirroRing its size and scale opposite to form a major new internal volume. Within this exciting new volume lots of great learning things happen!

Clas책sic Courtyard Plan Form Simple Legible Architecture Clear Sense of Orientation Understanding Front & Back Internal Community Space Dynamic Circulation


Galashiels Academy A+DS Design review

Informal Learning In a more informal basis this option like the last creates a major volume at its centre, however this space is more elongated and casual like a wiggly Ramblas! Like the other options this design would be major surgery but would address many of Galashiels Academy’s challenges.

Stallan-Brand


7N Architects


Galashiels Academy Re-connecting it to the Town

Disconnection • The Academy is a significant civic amenity for the Town. • It lies in a beautiful setting in the former Estate landscape. • But it currently feels disconnected from the Town, hidden away and hard to find. • The adjacent park is a key part of this setting and is an underused local asset.

TOWN CENTRE

Re-connection Proposals • Re-establish a direct route between the Academy and the Town Centre across the Park, through the original Estate gates and along St John Street. • St John Street could be a shared surface with pedestrian priority to make it a safer place for pedestrians and cyclists. • Re-emphasise the Park frontage as the primary Academy entrance. • This initiative could be also be a catalyst for re-invigorating the Park as an important community asset.

PARK

ENTRANCE

Campus disconnect from surrounding urban fabric.

Campus connectivity to surronding urban fabric.


Galashiels Academy Civic Campus

Academy Building • The present arrangement of the school building is arranged around a circuit of institutional corridors with no social or gathering places. • Replacing the central courtyard with a new, internal, hall would create a new heart to the building, a vibrant, flexible, social “forum” for the school. • New teaching accommodation could be built around this new space, to the east and west, which could also open up to adjacent garden and play spaces. • The central “forum” space would be accessed directly from the new entrance and reception area, addressing the Park and the new path to the Town. • The “forum” could have cafe facilities to complement the undersized and underused dining hall. • The dining hall itself would benefit from improvement and could be extended out towards the playing fields, doubling as a dry, warm, space for spectators. • These improvements could transform the Academy whilst retaining its identity within the social landscape of Galashiels.

Existing internal space.

ENTRANCE

GARDEN BUFFER

School atrium precedent.

PARK

USE EXISTING GATES Existing external space.

Concept sketch of Academy refurbishment proposals.

Academy landscape connectivity.

Natural light in circulation space.


Graven Images


CONTENTS MASTERPLAN

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existing proposal

BUILDING DESIGN

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building diagram negative spaces axis sequence schematic plans

DESIGN VIGNETTES

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dens and sketches entrance circulation classrooms dining area thresholds social space

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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Masterplan A strategy based around spatial legibility and the creation of internal and external social space.

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– MASTERPLAN: OVERALL STRATEGY – Galashiels Academy: existing

CDT

CLASSROOMS

ART SPECIAL EDUCATION

STUDENT ENTRANCE

MEMORIAL GARDEN P

P TEACHERS’ ENTRANCE DINING AREA + KITCHENS

MUSIC GYM + GAMES HALL ASSEMBLY HALL

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– MASTERPLAN: OVERALL STRATEGY – Galashiels Academy: Proposal

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8 INTERNAL + EXTERNAL SOCIAL SPACE

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LEGIBILITY

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© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

COHERENT ZONING

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SPORTS AND GAMES CONSOLIDATED INTO NEW PHYSICAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT, LINKING WITH EXISTING SWIMMING POOL

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ART AND CTD RELOCATED TO HEART OF CAMPUS, FORMING A NEW CREATIVE WING

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CREATION OF EXTERIOR COURTYARD

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COVER MEMORIAL GARDEN TO BECOME INTERNAL COURTYARD, INTEGRATED INTO SCHOOL.

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OPEN COURTYARD RECLAIMS SPACE FROM CAR PARK. GARDENS LINK SPACE T0 ADJACENT KITCHENS.

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DESTINATIONS AND DENS PUNCTUATE SCHOOL GROUNDS, ALLOWING VENUES FOR LEISURE TIME AND SPECTATORSHIP.

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STRENGTHENING OF SINGLE, MAIN ENTRANCE AND AXIS THROUGH SCHOOL.

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RELOCATION OF EXISTING GAMES HALL IMPROVES VIEWS OF SURROUNDING GROUNDS.

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Building Design A proposal based around the concept of three courtyards whose characters and functions derive from their orientation and degree of enclosure. This creates a series of social spaces varying from internal to external that are further supplemented by the development of the surrounding grounds advanced by the masterplan.

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– BUILDING DIAGRAM – 2 COURTYARD the car park overspill is reclaimed to create a welcoming courtyard, whilst a vegetable garden links with the adjacent kitchen and provides opportunity for student involvement.

3 SOCIAL SPACE a new roof over the existing memorial garden to create a concentrated and

versatile social space that is useable year-round and that associates itself spatially and visually with the surrounding classrooms, dining area and assembly hall, allowing activities to spill over and expand in a flexible way.

4 ENCLOSURE

a new Art + Music block and Sports Hall give direction to the school’s open space, placing emphasis on the spectacle of students’ sporting achievements and creative work.

AXIS

the main entrance is emphasised, working in tandem with the new covered social space to create a legible axis through the school.

1

DESTINATION 6

a sheltered open courtyard that can be used by students during breaks or provide external classroom space.

DEFINITION the sports fields become contained and defined between the composition of the new buildings.

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SPORTS HALL

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– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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co nta sp of p ined ec lay tat in spa ce or g an sea field d e tin s ve g nts

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– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– NEGATIVE SPACES IN SCHEME –

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– AXIS SEQUENCE –

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– AXIS SEQUENCE – 1

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Principal entrance reinforced through relocation of reception, signage and visual connection along axis of building.

threshold space displaying school news, reception desk and loose

welcome visitors and users of the school.of reception, Principal entrance reinforced through relocation 1 furniture

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t f

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P c

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E b

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A s t

signage and visual connection along axis of building.

threshold space of displaying school news, reception desk and loose perimeter social space allows overspill of adjacent 3 2 Porous

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furniture welcome visitors and users of the school. classrooms.

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of assembly hall functions and performances enabled 4 3 Expansion Porous perimeter of social space allows overspill of adjacent byclassrooms. folding screens dividing space from social courtyard.

3 of Dining Hall is increased and barriers between itself and 5 4 Area Expansion assembly hall functions andand performances enabled social space of removed, creating a less rigid formal organisa-

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by that folding space from social courtyard. tion canscreens spill outdividing as required.

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Providing an alternative entrance, the student led veg and herb

Area of Dining Hall is increased and barriers 6 5 garden links the activities of the dining area andbetween kitchen.itself and

social space removed, creating a less rigid and formal organisation that can spill out as required.

2 6

1

Providing an alternative entrance, the student led veg and herb garden links the activities of the dining area and kitchen.

3

1

1

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Principal entrance reinforced through relocation of reception, signage and visual connection along axis of building.

threshold space displaying school news, reception desk and loose furniture welcome visitors and users of the school.

2 3

Porous perimeter of social space allows overspill of adjacent classrooms.

4

Expansion of assembly hall functions and performances enabled by folding screens dividing space from social courtyard.

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Area of Dining Hall is increased and barriers between itself and social space removed, creating a less rigid and formal organisation that can spill out as required.

Providing an alternative entrance, the student led veg and herb garden links the activities of the dining area and kitchen.

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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P g


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Design Vignettes an approach that prioritises the creation of idiosyncratic and enjoyable spaces for learning and social activity, avoiding the anonymity and rigidity of default school furniture and organisation.

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– DENS AND STRUCTURES –

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– DENS AND STRUCTURES – treehouse structures

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– DENS AND STRUCTURES – spectator seating/shelter

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– DENS AND STRUCTURES – subterranean lairs Image caption with underline

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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–ENTRANCE –

A SINGLE ENTRANCE The doors on the North-East facade of the school are given increased significance as the principal entrance to the campus. Once through the doors, students and visitors are welcomed by a reception desk, seating area and glimpse the rest of the school though the social courtyard beyond.

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– INTERIOR SPACES: CIRCULATION–

breakout spaces + informal study

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colonisation of circulation

challenges and communication

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

student interventions and props

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– INTERIOR SPACES:CLASSROOMS –

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– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– INTERIOR SPACES:CLASSROOMS –

THE DEFAULT APPROACH: clutter and basic compliant furniture

A NEUTRAL BACKDROP FOR LEARNING : choice + texture through furniture

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– INTERIOR SPACES:STAFF ROOM–

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– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– INTERIOR SPACES:STAFF ROOM– A PLACE FOR reading, working, eating, sitting, relaxing, being sociable, being alone

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– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– INTERIOR SPACES:DINING AREA –

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– INTERIOR SPACES:THRESHOLDS+CIRCULATION –

The reconfiguration and erosion of the boundaries of the dining area and assembly hall creates a continuity between these spaces and the imternal social courtyard. This allows functional fluidity and a spatial coherence which is further improved by the placement of a student-tended greenhouse in the current location of the secondary entrance. With this ‘back door’ played down, the route through the school is clarified and strengthened, and circulation rendered more coherent and less fractured through addressing the newly emphasised axis through the building.

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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– INTERIOR SPACES:SOCIAL SPACE –

At the heart of the school is a missed opportunity. The pivotal location of the memorial garden has the potential to be meaningfully integrated into school life through association with the two key social activities of eating and assembly. By covering the space, a courtyard is created that serves as an extension and focal point to either of these on a daily basis, as well as providing an area that can be appropriated by classes and students for performances and events.

© Graven Images December 2012

– Architecture and Design Scotland – Galashiels Academy Esquisse Workshop –

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The Re:Design Option - Large Secondary