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GLM completes refurb of John O’Groats hotel

GLM Architects’ refurbishment of the John O’Groats Hotel in Scotland - the most northerly hotel in Britain - has opened its doors

The Edinburgh and Manchester based-practice has rejuvenated the John O’ Groats Hotel which stood unoccupied for 15 years.

A colourful ‘Nordic inspired’ timber clad extension has been added to the late Victorian baronial-style original building to house 16 luxury holiday apartments (AJ 16.11.2010).

In July 2012 GLM completed phase one of the project, which 23 luxury holiday self-catering residences, a remodelled co-operative café, activity centre and retail space formed within in the ‘Last House’.

Architect’s view

Ian McKee, GLM, project director

‘For decades there has been talk of revitalising John O’Groats but it was only ever talk. The local people were justifiably jaded by failed initiative after failed initiative. All that is being put behind them now and we are thrilled to have been given an opportunity to play our part in this challenging redevelopment.

One of the keys to the success of the project has been the use of a ‘Construction Management’ procurement route, a departure for us from conventional so-called ‘Traditional’ procurement’. It enabled us to maximise the use of local skills, labour and resources and to deliver the project within tight budgetary and programme constraints. Although challenging, this was in effect a double win - our client got what they wanted and we gained valuable experience that we can apply to other projects.’


Project data

Start on site September 2011
Date of completion August 20013
Gross internal floor area 1,100m²
Total cost £6.5 million
Form of contract SBCC minors works; Various
Client Natural Retreats
Architect GLM
Structural engineer KWA
M&E engineer Wallace Whittle
Quantity surveyor CromarBrooks
Main contractor GLM Construction Management
Interior design NoChintz
Operational consultants NR Technical Services


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