Total Appoints Archial to Design Temporary Living Quarters in Shetland for 800 Workers

Archial Architects, one of the UK’s leading architectural practices, has been appointed by Total E&P UK Limited, the Aberdeen based subsidiary of the French oil and gas multinational, to design temporary living quarters and leisure facilities to house 800 construction workers in Shetland as work starts on building a £500 million gas processing plant at Sullom Voe.

The gas processing plant is being developed on land to the western side of Hill of Crooksetter as part of Total’s Laggan Tormore Project which will involve the extraction of gas from the Laggan and Tormore Fields situated 140km north-west of the Shetland Islands.

Set to receive the first commercial gas from the fields lying west of Shetland in the north Atlantic, the plant is due to open in 2014, but by 2012 Total expects the number of staff on the construction site to be reaching peak levels. To accommodate them, it plans to build temporary accommodation at the council-owned Sella Ness industrial estate, which lies one mile to the south of the Sullom Voe Terminal.

As well as dormitory facilities, the self contained block will contain a canteen, recreation area, reading room, gymnasium, computer room/internet café, medics’ room, convenience store, laundry room, prayer room and a bar. Other amenity facilities include the formation of a 5-a-side football pitch to the north of the accommodation block.

A public consultation exercise has now been successfully organised by Archial Planning and it is anticipated that the application will be submitted at the end of June with a view to receiving permission at the September meeting of the planning committee to allow construction to commence towards the end of this year.

Charles Smith of Archial Architects, said, “The proposed design solution for this project is based on a modular construction method involving pre-made accommodation units being shipped to Sella Ness, where there is a pier immediately adjacent to the application site. This transportation arrangement will enhance the sustainability of the development and avoid any disruption on the roads in Shetland.

“An added benefit is that it will allow the building to be dismantled in four years time when the gas plant has been completed, leaving the site in a fully serviced condition and suitable for use by a subsequent commercial operator.”

The two storey residential building will be clad within metal panels and finished in a variety of colours including red, blue, yellow and green with the amenity block clad in timber.

“The use of bright colours on the exterior cladding of the modular units have a twin purpose,” said Mr Smith.

“Firstly, to enhance the legibility and sense of place of the building – these colours will be replicated inside and will be useful in allowing the residents to find their bearings within the large footprint which will be created – and, secondly, the bright colours reflect those used in some of the contemporary Scandinavian style housing which is increasingly found in the wider countryside in Shetland. 

“The height of the building is two storeys to ensure that it does not result in any interference with the operation of the nearby Scatsta Airport and that the development is comparable to adjoining buildings on the industrial estate.” 

As the planning application site is located adjacent to a sensitive marine area – Sullom Voe Special Area of Conservation – the application will be accompanied by supporting environmental information, including an otter survey, to ensure that it causes no harm to the local environment.

The development will be phased over a period of years. Subject to the approval of planning permission, it is anticipated that site infrastructure will commence later this year.



For further information please contact:

Charles Smith T: 01224 586277

Issued on behalf of Archial Group Plc by Liquorice Media tel 0141 561 4018

Date 24th June 2010



Contact: Susan Christie
Phone: 0141 561 4018