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Simpson & Brown wins £3.5m Scottish Seabird Centre extension

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Simpson & Brown Architects has won a publicly tendered contract for a £3.5m extension to the studio’s Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick

The Edinburgh-based practice defeated a raft of unnamed finalists to win the 750m2 ‘National Marine Centre’ commission which is planned to complete in 2020.

The appointment comes 16 years after Simpson & Brown completed the £1.2 million clifftop attraction which provides remote viewing of bird colonies in the Firth of Forth.

The latest project will restore and extend the landmark structure to create a new National Marine Centre.

Simpson & Brown partner Andy Davey commented: ‘Our team is delighted to be involved with the National Marine Centre Project.

‘We are immensely proud of the Seabird Centre building and believe we are ideally placed to develop and strengthen the design to make it even more inspirational as well as functional for visitors and staff.’

He continued: ‘Our work focuses on respecting the past and responding to the challenges for the future, particularly with regards to environmentally sound, sustainable design.

‘As these aspects will be a core focus for the National Marine Centre project we look forward to researching, consulting and developing the designs in partnership with the Seabird Centre team and key stakeholders.’

Occupying a rocky promontory overlooking North Berwick Harbour, the facility was one of several high-profile schemes funded by the National Lottery at the turn of the Millennium – known as the ‘Millennium Projects’.

Opened by the Prince of Wales in May 2000, the centre – located 32 kilometres east of Edinburgh – features live video from remote controlled cameras allowing visitors to see puffins on nearby Fridra Island and gannets on Bass Rock.

The new extension is expected to wrap around the existing building – constructed from dry stone walling, larch and copper – providing new exhibition spaces and enlarged café, retail and storage facilities.

A nearby building will meanwhile be converted into an education centre and offices. An online public survey on the project will close on Monday (7 November). 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Refreshing to see the alteration and extension of a building entrusted to the original architects.

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