Garrison House Community Hub

Garrison House Community Hub

Client : Cumbrae Community Development Company
Location : Millport
Value : £ 4.3m
Completion Date : February 2008

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 the Civic Trust Awards 2009, Commended in the Scottish Design Awards 2009 – Reuse of a Listed Building Category, Shortlisted in the Public Building Category, Commended in BURA Awards for Community Inspired Regeneration, Highly Commended in the Community Benefit category of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Awards.

This project is the complete restoration and rejuvenation of a Grade B Listed historic building, very much at the heart of the small community of Millport on the island of Cumbrae. The building was almost destroyed by fire in 2001, but despite this set back, the community maintained their passionate support for the project and were awarded considerable public funding of 4 miliion. 

The resultant project was a combination of conservation and contemporary intervention to provide a mixed use public facility including museum, library, surgery and cafe. The key challenge was to address the issue of how our built heritage can be allowed to adapt and change the essential period character.

The design concept was to completely reconstruct the exterior as it had been prior to the fire and as much of the complex roof layout as possible so that from the ground the form and profile remain unchanged. In addition, the formal rooms around the perimeter of the building have been reconstructed, replication any architectural interior detailing. However the boldest move was to liberate the centre of the building from the strictures of Victorian cellular plan and the team fought hard to open up the heart of the building to create fluid, evolving space that linked the entrance to the courtyard at the rear. 

A new glazed atrium over two storeys, almost completely hidden from outside, controls the new open plan and gives a central focus to the layout of all the different functions. The museum occupies this space and the cafe opens into the courtyard.

The most rewarding aspect of the completed project are the extraordinary transformation that has realised from a building that in 2001, after the fire, was almost fit for demolition and the positive reaction of the community to their new Garrison House.

Lee Boyd provided an excellent service as Architects and Design Team Leaders for Garrison House, coordinating a diverse group of consultants to restore this originally ruinous building to a very high standard. The end result to this extremely complex project is wonderful and it was also was delivered on budget, a remarkable achievement in this current climate.’

Jim Hamilton, Former Chairman, Cumbrae Community Development Company.