Mull Theatre, West Highlands: Aros Park Project, Tobermory Building

New Mull theatre, West Highlands, Aros Park Project, Building, Architect, Photos

Mull Theatre, Scotland : Tobermory Building

Production Centre, Tobermory, West Scotland – design by CiAO Architects

8 Apr 2008

Mull Theatre Tobermory

Progress photographs 9 Apr 2008:

Mull Theatre Mull Theatre Tobermory Mull Theatre Tobermory Mull Theatre Tobermory

Building information from CiAO 22 Oct 2007

The First Act : Construction gets underway for CiAO’s new Mull Theatre

As justification of the Inner Hebridean Island of Mull’s growing presence on the UK cultural map, Mull Theatre’s new Production Centre is the first phase in the company’s plans for a Creative Campus on the island, designed by the City Architecture Office (CiAO).

Set on the edge of an extraordinary Victorian estate, the site gives clear views to the mainland. The new £0.6 million Production Centre includes a flexible rehearsal room / performance space, backstage rooms, production offices, workshops and technical facilities. Spacious open plan rooms are contained within an entirely timber-framed structure, wrapped in a blue / black profiled fibre cement board with stainless steel and cedar detailing.

new Mull Theatre Mull Theatre Tobermory

Sensitive to a remote environment, the new building benefits from renewable and sustainable technologies within the Production Centre’s super-insulated envelope that offer minimal running costs and impact on the environment. Air source heat recovery technologies meet the building’s entire heating and ventilation requirements whilst an environmental sewage treatment plant resolves the drainage.
Construction commenced this month and with its completion in April 2008, the building will provide first class production facilities in its unique forest location close to Tobermory.

CiAO Director Moray Royles says,
“Mull Theatre had little money but huge vision. This building responds by creating a dramatic presence in a secluded site. It plays with the aesthetics of the ubiquitous metal clad agricultural buildings that speckle the island.”

West of Scotland Theatre building information from CiAO, Jun 2005

West of Scotland Theatre Tobermory

Tobermory, What’s the story?

Edinburgh based City Architecture Office (CiAO) has won a competition to design a new Production Centre for Mull Theatre. CiAO was selected from a shortlist that included Dualchas and Richard Murphy Architects, following a competitive interview process.

Moray Royles, Director of CiAO said, “This project is unique; the site is superb and it carries enormous cultural significance for the West Highlands. We are delighted to have been chosen, especially when it can be rare for younger Scottish architects to succeed when competing for a high profile project in Scotland”.
The Aros Park Production Centre will continue to justify the growing presence of Mull on Scotland’s cultural map. Walk along the harbour and Tobermory’s brightly coloured shop fronts are readily identifiable as their Balamory TV counterparts. Homegrown pop stars and MTV darlings, Mull Historical Society offer inspiration to teenage musicians on street corners. The island is already known for being home to the world’s smallest theatre: Mull Little Theatre in Dervaig, founded in 1966. However Mull Theatre Limited’s lease expires at the end of 2006 and, in any event, the 43-seat venue in a converted byre no longer meets the requirements of what has become one of Scotland’s busiest touring theatre companies, and so The Aros Park project was born.

The Forestry Commission recently offered to lease Mull Theatre a plot of land 2 miles outside Tobermory on which new premises could be built, with the help of possible funding from the Arts Council Lottery and Argyll & the Islands Enterprise. The new Production facility bodes well for the company, as Mull Theatre’s Artistic Director Alasdair McCrone says, “Up till now we’ve had to find rehearsal space where we can – the Arts Centre, the Scout Hall – and sets have been built on the mainland and shipped in. The Little Theatre is so wee that we often have to build two sets, one for here and one for the tour. This new opportunity will give us first class facilities but the forest location means we can maintain the rural character people expect from a visit to Mull Theatre.”

The proposals include a flexible rehearsal room/ performance space, backstage rooms, production offices, workshop & prop store, technical facilities. Future phases may include a foyer and bar, theatre fit-out, design studio and self-catering accommodation. CiAO is currently working up proposals for Planning Permission and funding applications later in 2005.

Mull Theatre information received Jun 2005

29 Aug 2005

Mull Theatre Production Centre

CiAO Architects – Planning Approval

Planning success: Mull Theatre Aros Park Production Centre

Edinburgh practice City Architecture Office (CiAO) has gained full planning approval for an exciting new Arts facility on the Inner Hebridean Island of Mull. This planning success follows their recent competition win in May 2005, to design the new Production Centre for Mull Theatre.

Mull Theatre Image CiAO Architecture Scotland

The application was submitted in late June 2005 and approved on 25 August 2005. The rapid outcome is credited to the quality and thoroughness of the scheme and close consultation with Argyll & Bute Council Planning Department, prior to and throughout the application process. The submission approach was in accordance with the Architecture Policy for Scotland. The Aros Park Production Centre will provide first class facilities in a unique forest location close to Tobermory and maintains the rural character people expect from a visit to Mull Theatre. It will continue to justify the growing presence of Mull on Scotland’s cultural map.

The proposals include a flexible rehearsal room/ performance space, backstage rooms, production offices, workshop & prop store, technical facilities. Future phases include a foyer and bar, theatre fit-out, design studio and self-catering accommodation.

Mull Little Theatre founded in 1966, is currently in Dervaig. However Mull Theatre Limited’s lease expires at the end of 2006 and these new premises are essential. The proposal is currently awaiting a decision on Lottery funding from The Scottish Arts Council.

West of Scotland Theatre images / information from Ciao Architects, Aug 2005


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