A Grade B listed suite of buildings, the former offices for Argyll and Bute Council, are located in Rothesay’s medieval conservation area on the Isle of Bute. The context is highly sensitive, sitting directly adjacent to one of Scotland’s oldest circular castles. Extensive public consultation has shown that the buildings remain culturally and socially significant.
A combination of refurbishment and façade retention has therefore been used to retain the buildings significant presence and quality whilst providing the flexibility to construct 25 socially rented flats. All flats are accessible to wheelchairs with some dedicated wheelchair units located on the ground floor, all flats have been designed to housing for varying needs
The centre of the block has been reshaped to provide a communal courtyard and all circulation with a freestanding lift and stairwell used in conjunction with deck access. This deep deck also provides defensible and external semi private space for all residents.
Materials and energy systems have been chosen to minimize the environmental impact of the building. As well as much of the building being retained, local, sustainable materials and trades will be used where possible. A CHP (communal heat and power) system is used, this along with high levels of insulation will reduce energy use and costs, protecting the residents against fuel poverty and reducing CO2 output.