Stirling Tolbooth – Arts Venue

Stirling Tolbooth, Building Photos, Auditorium, Bar, Restaurant, Facilities, Image

Stirling Tolbooth, Scotland : Historic Building

Arts Venue in central Scotland – design by Richard Murphy Architects

14 Oct 2013

Stirling Tolbooth Building

Photos of the interior and the old clock tower

Stirling Tolbooth Building Stirling Tolbooth Building Stirling Tolbooth Building Stirling Tolbooth Building Stirling Tolbooth Building
photos © Adrian Welch

Stirling Tolbooth Venue


Design: Richard Murphy Architects

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Stirling Tolbooth
Stirling Tolbooth: photo by Stirling Council

Stirling Tolbooth represents a major and confident insertion into a historic building that is all too rare in Scotland. The contrast of old and new, subtle and strident is exciting and the complexity astounding. Stirling Tolbooth dates from the seventeenth century onwards, and has functioned variously as a town hall, a courthouse and jail. Stirling Council held an invited competition in 1997 to refurbish the Tolbooth as a music-focused Arts venue, encouraging performance and participation.

Stirling Tolbooth
Stirling Tolbooth: photo by Stirling Council

The existing building forms a U-shape with court house occupying the central section and vaults underneath. It sits between the two main streets on the approach to the castle. As part of the design the adjacent Jail Wynd was pedestrianised and a new entrance created using one of the original vaults.

Stirling Tolbooth Building
Stirling Tolbooth: photo by Stirling Council

The ‘A’ Listed existing Stirling Tolbooth building has been interfered with as little as possible, so that the elevations to the public streets, and the fine interiors retain their character and can be enjoyed as ‘the old Tolbooth’.

Stirling Tolbooth
Stirling Tolbooth: photo by Alan Forbes

Special interiors have been reserved for special uses within the existing building, so that the old Courtroom is reused as the pre-eminent performance space, the robing room as a grand bar, and the old council chamber as a high quality restaurant.

Stirling Tolbooth Scotland
Stirling Tolbooth: photo by Alan Forbes

All the major interventions necessary to achieve the above have been located in the only empty space available on this restricted site: the eastern courtyard. Here is found the foyer and circulation system of the building. Overhanging it is a lead cassette (known as the ‘backpack’) containing the extension to the courtroom which creates the auditorium and above it the air handling plant. Using this space as the foyer allows visual and actual access to all the facilities and permits a single lift to reach the many diverse existing levels.

Stirling Tolbooth: photo by Alan Forbes

Richard Murphy Architect’s Stirling Tolbooth is located just down from Stirling Castle, to the East, just a few minutes from Stirling centre.

All photos not by Adrian Welch provided by Richard Murphy Architects at the time of the building completion

Stirling Tolbooth – Client: Stirling Council

Larger image available:
Stirling Tolbooth
Stirling Tolbooth: photo © adrian welch

Completed Jan 2001; Tolbooth build cost, approx. £4.2m

Stirling Tolbooth – Full set of Photos

Stirling Tolbooth
Architect: Richard Murphy Architects
Client: Stirling Council
Completed: Jan 2001
Project cost: £4.2m

In 1997 Stirling Council held an invited competition to renovate the Old Tolbooth as a music focused arts venue, opening the building up to the local community and the wider public for performance and participation.

Summary of judges’ comments:
The design approach is innovative and exuberant. The materials and detailing are consistent throughout, well chosen and well designed. The rear elevation to the court is splendid and the stair, the Stirling Tolbooth building’s main feature, is clever and consistently detailed.

RIAS Architecture Awards PR – 27 Sep 2002

Richard Murphy

Location:Stirling, Scotland

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Stirling Buildings – page