[FIRST LOOK + PLANS] The new £21 million Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Ayrshire designed by Simpson and Brown has opened its doors
The Edinburgh-based practice worked with Buro Happold on the project which has taken six years to complete and will house more than 5,000 artefacts, including original manuscripts written by the Scottish poet.
Part of the National Trust for Scotland portfolio, the scheme features ‘earth tubes’ which are buried two metres below ground level to harness the earth’s energy in summer and winter ‘by drawing in fresh air in and transferring energy from the ground, to provide free pre-cooling and heating for the variable air volume ventilation system’.
Buro Happold’s project director and ‘long time Burns fan’, Scott Baird said: ‘Many consider Burns to be Scotland’s national poet – so the project came with high expectations. Creating the new facility which really showcases this national treasure, protecting invaluable exhibits while protecting the environment through sustainable, low energy solutions, has been a thought-provoking, fascinating journey, enabling Buro Happold to deliver a really world class new attraction for Scotland.’
The official opening of the museum is due to take place on 22 January to coincide with Alloway’s Burns weekend.