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Moxon showcases proposals for Cairngorms Park HQ

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Moxon Architects has released these images of plans to extend the Cairngorms National Park Authority’s (CNPA) headquarters in Grantown-on-Spey, Scotland.

The practice, which has offices in London and Crathie near Balmoral Castle, saw off the likes of JM Architects, Keppie, and Anderson Bell Christie Architects to land the job early last year.

The new building behind the CNPA’s existing home will become the authority’s new entrance.

The 425m² scheme, which will house office space for around 30 staff as well as a new boardroom, is split into two blocks, a lower grass-roofed, building and a two-storey bookend with a ‘contra-monopitch roof’.

A planning application is expected to be submitted in the coming weeks.

Architects’ view:

‘The CNPA’s existing premises at 14 The Square forms the north corner between the primary open space in the centre of the Grantown on Spey (The Square) and Church Avenue – one of the town’s original planned streets that connects The Square & War Memorial to the south with Inverallan Parish Church to the north.  The new building connects through to the current building with a shallow indent on the street edge to allow for a relaxed public entrance and a safe location for disabled parking & access.  This indent is defined by the rear elevation of 14 The Square, the entrance elevation of the extension and its return to the street edge.  The fourth edge of the indent to Church Avenue is partially enclosed by a low granite wall extending along the line of the current annex, creating the courtyard form of the proposal that is common to secondary streets in the Grantown on Spey Conservation Area.

‘At it’s northern extremity the building comprises two storeys with a contra-monopitch roof [two mono pitches stepping down to the street edge].  The lower volume that defines the re-entrant courtyard connects this two storey volume to its neighbour at ground level, with a glazed portal forming the ultimate connection with the rear facade of 14 The Square.

‘In architectural terms the proposal is marked by its low profile and occupied roofscape. The same linking function between the neighbouring buildings that takes place internally is encouraged on the roof, where an existing high level emergency access to the rear of 14 The Square will be adapted to connect to a new roof terrace that provides a link across to the upper level of the new office volume.  This terrace will be masked from the street by a gently sloping and fully planted roof, affording a degree of privacy to the terrace to enable amenity use by CNPA staff.  The planted roof is an important fifth elevation to the proposal that will be cultivated with flora indigenous to the Cairngorms National Park.  Heating will be provided by the CNPA’s existing biomass boiler while the roof in particular has been designed to complement the habitat potential of the garden with integral swift and bat roosts.’ 

Cairngorms National Park Authority headquarters building by Moxon Architects (January 2015)

Cairngorms National Park Authority headquarters building by Moxon Architects (January 2015)

Project data:

Architects: Moxon
Location: Grantown on Spey, Scottish Highlands
Type Of Project: National Park HQ offices
Structural Engineers: Graeme Craig Consulting Engineer
Client: Seafield Estate
Funding: Private
Gross internal floor area: 425m²
Quantity surveyor: McCue & Porter
Lighting consultant: Moxon

Cairngorms National Park Authority headquarters building by Moxon Architects (January 2015)

Cairngorms National Park Authority headquarters building by Moxon Architects (January 2015)

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