Design Awards 2012
The Barony Centre
Winner: Design Award
The aim of the project is to provide a focal point for West Kilbride’s arts and crafts production and involves the conversion of an existing C listed church into an arts and crafts centre. The converted building contains an exhibition space, retail space, workshops, café, office and meeting room.
The basic exterior form of the existing church was retained but the addition of a glazed angular single storey café extension helps to draw attention to the main entrance and communicate that a new function now occupies the building.
Internally the existing full height volume has been retained over the exhibition space but is interrupted by the protruding curved form of the first floor workshops which float within the larger volume. The workshops overlook the space below to provide a connection between the process of production and display, and the curved wall is clad in slender vertical cedar battens to abstractly represent a traditional weaving loom providing a connection to the town’s craft heritage. The existing stone walls and timber roof have been lined in plasterboard to create a clean and simplistic backdrop to the exhibition area. The cedar battens and new oak floor work together with natural light from the large existing windows to add warmth and character to the space.
The completed building provides an excellent integrated space for producing, exhibiting and selling locally produced work. Furthermore it serves to promote the town’s wider arts and crafts agenda by providing a stimulating and rewarding environment for these activities.