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Page\Park completes new centre for the visually impaired in Paisley

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The Hawkhead Centre, a new facility for charity Scottish War Blinded, is dominated by a timber-lined roof inspired by the sweeping wing of a bird

The new centre in Paisley will be the charity’s flagship building in the west of Scotland, offering free support for ex-service men and women who have lost their sight during or after military service.

It includes a large sports hall, art studio, kitchen and IT skills room, all organised around a central dining area designed to be the social hub of the building.

Hcp 1017 0674

Hcp 1017 0674

The roof takes its inspiration from the Hawkhead area of Paisley where the centre is situated: sheltering all the people and activity below it under the single sweeping gesture of its wing-like form. The roof has five large triangular rooflights set within it, providing light deep into the building over the central dining and gathering area.

The building opens out to a sensory garden, complete with planting areas, a pergola, potting shed and greenhouse and which is encircled by existing oak, pine and maple trees.

The Hawkhead Centre was delivered in tandem with a 54-room care home on the same site for sister charity Royal Blind.

Hcp 1017 0455

Hcp 1017 0455

Source: Keith Hunter

Architect’s view

The needs of the visually impaired user group were considered as a key part of the design process. The building has a clear, easy to understand floor plan so that visitors can quickly build a mental map of the centre. Natural materials were used to provide the necessary visual contrast between elements, for example black enamel ironmongery on maple doors, with walnut door frames contrasting visually with white painted walls.

The Hawkhead Centre has been received warmly. It is considered a success by the client, design team, project team and contractor, and is being well received by the visually impaired members of Scottish War Blinded. The project is testament to what can be achieved when engaged, interested and committed professionals come together to brief, design and deliver a building in a spirit of trust, respect and mutual co-operation, for an organisation which is doing essential work to improve people’s lives in this part of Scotland and beyond.

Martin Flett and Jamie Hamilton, project architects, Page\Park Architects

Project data

Start on site date March 2016
August 2017 
Gross internal floor area approx.
Form of contract and/or procurement 
SBCC standard building contract with quantities, 2011 edition
Architect Page\Park Architects
Landscape architect Ian White Associates 
Client Scottish War Blinded
Structural engineer Jacobs 
M&E consultant Atelier Ten
Quantity surveyor  NBM
Acoustic consultant Sandy Brown Associates
CDM coordinatorCDM Scotland
Main contractor CCG Scotland 
CAD software usedRevit

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