Garrison House, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae

Refurbishment and redevelopment of this listed 17th century Garrison building for the island community. The diverse facilities the building will provide include a one-stop shop, outreach college, museum, doctors surgery, café, library, council offices and community meeting place.

Garrison House on the Isle of Cumbrae is a Category B-listed building dating from the mid-eighteenth century that was in constant use right up until 2001, when it was almost destroyed by fire. This HLF-funded project concerned the full restoration and rejuvenation of the building and comprised the stabilisation and repair of the surviving walls and the introduction of new contemporary internal spaces.

The key challenge for the project from an engineering point of view was the condition of the surviving stone masonry walls and their ability to act as the primary structural elements of the building. Great care was taken to investigate their integrity and to establish how they had suffered from the fire. Happily, we were able to establish that generally only low-key traditional repairs and enhancements were required, with only a small number of more significant structural repairs being required, for example, the introduction of restraints to some of the tall gable walls.

New floors were inserted into the shell. Great effort was taken to achieve slim, long-spanning floors that would allow the realisation of the dynamic spaces that were the key aspect of the Architect and Client’s vision for the building.

The focus of the new internal spaces is the internal atrium and, within that, the main feature staircase. Complex modelling of this stair resulted in an extremely simple and deceptive structure that was simple to fabricate in which the treads and balustrade act as a single, vertically-spanning element.


Awards: Winner of Roses Design Awards 2008 for Best Re-use of a Listed Building

Glasgow Institute of Architects Awards 2008 for Conservation and Repair and Restoration Category in Natural Stone Awards 2008

Commendation in Civic Trust Awards 2009

Shortlisted in the Scottish Design Awards 2009 - Reuse of a Listed Building and Public Building Categories

Commended in BURA Awards for Community Inspired Regeneration, Highly Commended in the Community Benefit category of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Awards