Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre, Aberdeenshire

Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre, Aberdeenshire Building Development, Scotland Architecture

Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre, Scotland

Aberdeenshire Education Building – design by Brown + Brown Architects

4 Jul 2013

Boatbuilding Education Building

Design: Brown + Brown Architects

Location: Portsoy, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Aberdeenshire Boatbuilding Centre

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival (STBF) began their process of boat building education in response to a rise in teenage anti-social behaviour in the town of Portsoy, which is long recognised as a centre of maritime culture and history.

Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire
images from architect

As the success of this project grew, it expanded organically to incorporate joint teaching ventures with nearby schools, in addition to the extension of workshops to all age groups. This unanticipated success has allowed the STBF to take the ambitious step of commissioning a dedicated boatbuilding workshop and teaching facility.

Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire
images from architect

Ongoing community engagement has been key to the design approach, as with all projects commissioned by, and indeed intended for, a community. This iterative and interactive process shaped, questioned, and refined the brief, before ultimately shaping the finalised design.

Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire
images from architect

When dealing with a project of this nature, for clients who by the very definition of their organisation possess unparalleled knowledge and understanding of timber and craft, it is vital that the finished building acts as a reflection of those skills, approaches, and values, both in terms of design and materiality. The starting point for the brief became a short list of requirements, coupled with a minimal materials palette designed to echo the buildingʼs function, celebrate elements of the existing stone skin, and honestly display the structure.

Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre Aberdeenshire
drawings from architect

A solution was developed that will allow the client to help shape their building, through the construction of moveable ʻpodʼ rooms, which inhabit an overarching industrial-scale space. These pods will be conceived, constructed, and ultimately used by the very people who inhabit the building, whilst acquiring and developing the skills which give this project its purpose.

The project is due for completion in June 2014.

Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre information / images from Brown + Brown Architects


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