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Golfers chip St Andrews visitor centre plan into the rough

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October 21 2014

Golfers chip St Andrews visitor centre plan into the rough
Plans to erect a visitor centre at West Sands beach, St Andrews, have been dealt a blow after planners rejected the application following objections from golfers on the adjacent Old Course.

Designed by Arc Architects and David Narro Associates on behalf of Fife Coast & Countryside Trust the scheme aims to provide public facilities for beachgoers alongside information and interpretation highlighting conservation and biodiversity of the landscape.

The £1.6m facility would have simulated a sand dune in terms of form and planting to replace an unholy triumvirate of café, toilet block and beach maintenance block which the general public must put up with currently – described by project architect Tom Morton as ‘decrepit, third world facilities.’

In their design statement Arc contested that: ”The form is curvilinear, reminiscent of waves or shells, with the rear ‘shell’ embedded into the new ‘dune’ bank that forms the western edge to the new picnic.

area. The front ‘shell’ faces towards the dunes, with a glazed façade providing a view from first floor exhibition area, and visual links from the café to the recreational area.

“Between the two ‘shells’ there are glazed areas with revolving doors, forming the principal access points on the north and south.”

The decision follows Fife Council’s decision to approve a separate facility for the British Golf Museum which will itself overlook West Sands beach.
Arc have accused Fife Council of betraying double standards in their approach to facilities for golfers and beachgoers
Arc have accused Fife Council of betraying double standards in their approach to facilities for golfers and beachgoers
The shells would have been finished in coloured stainless steel to contrast with the wood used in the landscaping
The shells would have been finished in coloured stainless steel to contrast with the wood used in the landscaping

7 Comments

CADMonkey
#1 Posted by CADMonkey on 21 Oct 2014 at 14:21 PM
Double take....a correct decision from Fife Council! It's just too big and bulky isn't it? Looks about 10m high. On an ultra sensitive site like this with an uber important historical immediate neighbour such as The Old Course any non-golf related facility should be subservient to its neighbour and context rather than trying to make a bold architectural statement of its own. For a successful result perhaps if the applicant should have engaged in dialogue with the R&A as part of the design process.
CADMonkey
#2 Posted by CADMonkey on 21 Oct 2014 at 15:11 PM
Please note that I made no reference to teletubbies in my previous comment.
cat flap
#3 Posted by cat flap on 21 Oct 2014 at 16:10 PM
CADMonkey - Have you actually seen the Old Course Hotel. Hardly respectful or subservient.
Fore
#4 Posted by Fore on 22 Oct 2014 at 11:32 AM
But then they approve thingslike this http://planning.fife.gov.uk/online/caseDetails.do?keyVal=MSLNA6HFT8000&caseType=Application
james
#5 Posted by james on 22 Oct 2014 at 13:19 PM
What's so bad about the Sea Shell Café? It's clearly based on Robert Venturi's design for his mother's house. Anyway, I'd far rather have a cup of tea there than be a part of that truly god-forsaken interior perspective.
Cadmonkey
#6 Posted by Cadmonkey on 22 Oct 2014 at 14:04 PM
I agree totally James, and Catflap.... What are you trying to say?
If it was up to me the Old Course Hotel would be compulsory purchased and flattened. Now there's a good pro-active idea for Fife Council to follow through on.
Jonathan
#7 Posted by Jonathan on 23 Oct 2014 at 10:17 AM
I don't count myself as a modernist or a conservationist Architect but can appreciate both.

I really like the proposed scheme and it is such a shame that this was not progressed. Hats off to Tom Morton. The amount of work and idea of what was being proposed to be totally out-weighed by the objections (and some big hitter objectors/neighbours!) seemed to kill of this quickly.

I do think that the wind turbines also helped to kill this off and if removed from the scheme might have had a better chance (given the sensitivity and opposition to a rather larger scale windfarm nearby).

As for wanting to knock down one of Golf and Scotland most iconic buildings, settle down now. ...

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