Abbotsford House Visitor Centre

Abbotsford Visitors Centre, Scotland, Scottish Borders Building, Photos

Abbotsford House Visitor Centre

New Scottish Architecture in Melrose, The Scottish Borders – design by LDN

14 + 13 Jun 2013

Abbotsford Conservation & Visitors Building

Abbotsford Conservation & Visitors Building, Melrose

Design: LDN Architects

Abbotsford Conservation & Visitors Building
photograph © Paul Zanre

RIBA National Award Winner

Location: Scottish Borders, southern Scotland

Abbotsford, Visitor Reception Building

The Project

Abbotsford, the creation of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), is one of Scotland’s great cultural sites. In 2007 the Abbotsford Trust was established to safeguard its future through much needed conservation and development work. The first phase involved the creation of a new visitor entrance, car park and Visitor Reception Building (VRB) incorporating a reception, café, shop, toilets and introductory exhibition displays.

Abbotsford Conservation & Visitors Building
photograph © Paul Zanre

Design Concept

Conceived as a modern version of a gate lodge and sited at the eastern edge of Abbotsford’s outstanding designed landscape adjacent to the historic footpath of Borders Abbeys Way, the VRB welcomes visitors warmly to Abbotsford, guards the entrance to Sir Walter’s intimate world and acts as a symbolic new gateway to Abbotsford.

The two-storey building is built partly into the hillside to reduce its scale and has a calm contemporary appearance and open plan as a foil to the highly decorated and hierarchical Scottish Baronial architecture of Sir Walter’s masterpiece.

Abbotsford House Visitor Centre Building Abbotsford Conservation & Visitors Building Abbotsford House Visitor Centre Building Abbotsford Visitors Building Abbotsford House Visitor Centre
photographs © Paul Zanre

Design Development

The proposal for a new building and car park in such a precious designed landscape was contentious and the subject of great scrutiny. Location, size and impact on its historic setting all had to be carefully considered. An options appraisal was carried out and developing designs were advertised and presented at public meetings and to local community councils.

Abbotsford House Visitor Centre Building Abbotsford Conservation & Visitors Building Abbotsford House Visitor Centre Building Abbotsford Visitors Building Abbotsford House Visitor Centre
photographs © Paul Zanre

Environmental Issues

Timber construction is used to form every aspect of the building and its compact rectangular envelope is highly insulated and airtight, reducing the building’s heat loss and exceeding the Scottish Borders Council’s policy in terms of compliance with SPP6 and building CO2 emissions. The building was tested for air infiltration and achieved a value of 2.64 m3/hr/m2@50 Pa. The flat roof is finished with a sedum blanket that minimizes the impact of the building’s footprint by partly “recovering” the natural ground lost due to the construction of the building and reducing rainwater run-off up to 40%. Rainwater is stored in a reclamation tank and reused to flush the WCs. The building’s main spaces are naturally ventilated and a heat recovery air-handling unit serves the exhibition space and also recovers heat from the toilets. Underfloor heating in every space is provided using a ground source heat pump connected to bore holes under the carpark.

As much natural light as possible has been allowed into the building to reduce the need for artificial lighting. Energy-saving lights controlled by motion detectors are installed throughout the building.

14.06.2013

Building cost: £3.2 million
Client: Abbotsford Trust

Abbotsford Visitors Building Abbotsford House Visitor Centre
photographs © Paul Zanre

Abbotsford Conservation & Visitors Building Melrose images from Paul Zanre

Abbotsford House Visitor Centre design : LDN Architects

RIBA Awards 2013 : RIBA National Award Winner – 13 Jun 2013


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

Abbotsford House, Scottish Borders
Abbotsford House
photo from HLF
Abbotsford House

Scottish Borders Buildings

Historic Building in Scottish Borders, close by:

Mellerstain Houser, near Kelso
William Adam; Robert Adam
Mellerstain House
photo © Adrian Welch

Mellerstain House

Scottish Architecture

Scottish Architecture News

Scottish Walking Tours

Scottish Architects

Historic Building in Scottish Borders:

Traquair
Traquair House
photo © AJW
Historic Scottish Borders house

Comments / photos for the Abbotsford Conservation & Visitors BuildingMelrose Architecture page welcome

Abbotsford Conservation & Visitors Building Melrose Building : page