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Moxon wins approval for new practice HQ in Cairngorms

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Moxon Architects has won the go-ahead to build its new headquarters in a disused quarry in the Scottish Highlands

The 400m² scheme at Crathie, Aberdeenshire, is described as a  ‘studio of two halves’: a private building for ‘study and creative contemplation’ linked by a covered walkway to a more open social block.

The firm, which also has an outpost in London, said the design would feature a combination of metal and planted over-sailing roofs referencing the local architecture of the Cairngorms.

Work on site is expected to start later this year and complete in autumn 2018.

Quarry studios dusk  view09

View from garage and parknig spaces towards the new studio

Architect’s view

Privacy presents a fundamental set of design constraints for architects to work with: whether in the design of a small family home or, in this instance, a new studio for a growing team of architects and engineers. The design of this building – in its placement on the site, overall massing and arrangement of program – is acutely concerned with necessitating the different levels of privacy to allow the office to function, incorporating welcoming public facing areas while ensuring client and project confidentiality. This is achieved in part by considering the relationship between the building and the surrounding topography, utilising the landform as part of the architecture.

Another enjoyable layer of constraint comes from being in the unusual position of working on the design of a building for which my colleagues and I will be the end users. The design itself is the product of a robust series of reviews and conversations within the office which involved everyone from a director (who is also the client), to our office manager and design staff.

Site plan

Site plan

Project data

Location Crathie, Ballater, Aberdeenshire
Type of project Office
Client Moxon Architects
Architect Moxon Architects
Structural engineer Graeme Craig Consulting Engineers
Quantity surveyor McQue and Porter
Main contractor Tor Contractors
Start on site date late 2017
Completion date Autumn 2018
Contract duration 10 months
Gross internal floor area 400m²
Form of contract Traditional

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