Highland Museum Store
Highland Council / Highlife
Watermans / CDMM
2016 Cairngorms National Park Authority Design Awards
Home to the history of Highland rural life.
Robertson Highland selected us to work with them on a Design & Build bid to develop the Highland Museum Store in Newtonmore. The collection was housed in a variety of inappropriate buildings and the objective was to bring these together in a purpose built controlled environment to allow the preservation, cataloguing and sharing of the history of rural life in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
The accredited facility is located in the Cairngorms National Park and as such was the consenting authority for this sensitive site. This building with a floor area of over 3,000m2 is comparatively large in an agricultural landscape, so the massing was broken up to provide a design that appeared to be more modest in scale with references to the rural architecture in the area.
The facility provides a selection of environmentally controlled spaces housing everything from agricultural machinery, tack, domestic objects and clothing through the centuries. In addition, as a place of learning, the facility includes a laboratory, reference library, meeting rooms, historical archives and administration offices. The latter areas engage visually with the Museum park and surrounding landscape, while the storage areas remained hidden from view and protected from the elements.
Working closely with the team, we established links with Cairngorm National Park Planning Authority to develop a final design solution appropriate to the ethos of the National Park with materials appropriate to the colours of the surrounding landscape. Upon completion, the building received a ‘Highly Commended’ at the 2016 IAA Design Awards, and was the winner of the 2016 Cairngorms National Park Authority Design Awards in the ‘Place Making’ category. The park authority has subsequently included the Museum Store in the design guide as best practice for design within the National Park.