Archial Architects, one of the UK’s leading architectural practices, has been appointed to design the £1.5 million Barony Centre at Scottish Craft Town, West Kilbride.
With funding from the Big Lottery as well as from The Town Centre Regeneration Fund, Third Sector Enterprise Fund and Ayrshire LEADER, the Barony Centre will provide a new home and focus for the first Scottish Craft Town community-inspired initiative.
Craft Town Scotland is a haven for fine crafts set within West Kilbride. The initiative comprises eight craft studios where craft work is produced by individual makers, with all profits reinvested into sustaining and developing West Kilbride’s retail and cultural hub as part of its increasingly vibrant community.
The Barony Centre project will see the conversion of the former Barony Church on West Kilbride’s Main Street into a craft centre incorporating exhibition space, workshops, an educational facility supported by the Robertson Trust and a café.
Kevin Cooper, director at Archial Architects, said, “The striking design solution for this scheme will see an abstract Aalto-esque new-build element inserted into the shell of the old Barony Church, the intermittent glass and timber treatment of which is inspired by the idea of ‘the loom’, together with the installation of a glass café to act as a beacon on the main street.
“Featuring a variety of materials, including glass, timber and stone, the development will see the construction of a café with a large art gallery capable of hosting major craft exhibitions and a retail area for local craftsmen on the ground floor, whilst the upper level will comprise all the various craft workshops with spaces to hold professional masterclasses and classes for school kids and other community members.
“Deciding how the new insertion will interact with the 18th Century graveyard surrounding the church and how it will integrate with the fabric of the old building has been an interesting architectural problem to solve. It has also been particularly satisfying to work on a socially and community based Lottery funded project that will make a huge difference to the local community which, after all, is what the Lottery is all about.”
The intention is that the Barony Centre will be the catalyst that elevates West Kilbride’s Craft Town Scotland initiative into a commercially viable proposition. Construction is due to start onsite in mid April and is scheduled for completion by the autumn.
For further information please contact:
Kevin Cooper T: 0141 204 6500
Issued on behalf of Archial Group Plc by Liquorice Media tel 0141 561 4018
Date 1st April 2010