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MacBrayne Apartments

MacBrayne Apartments

Kearney Donald Partnership were employed by The Highland Council to redevelop the site of a former exhibition and retail premises on Fort William High Street.

The new building is set back from the High Street pavement and separate from the Grade B list church next door. The position of the new building re-established the Church’s true rectilinear form and reinforced the vennels running from the High Street to the waterfront.

The three separate blocks break up the overall mass of the building helping to relate to the size and scale of the neighbouring buildings. The building also addresses both the High Street frontage and the by-pass/waterfront frontage with both elevations being treated as “principal elevations”. The middle of the 3 blocks is slid within the site allowing views to the water from the middle block of flats. The middle block also contains the vertical circulation with staircase and lift serving all floors. The links between the blocks are glazed creating light and views from the horizontal circulation areas.

The building is finished in a limited palette of materials. The roofs are of aluminium standing seam to reflect the areas historic links with aluminium production. The feature boundary walls are also made of sheets of aluminium with a random pattern reflecting the ripples from the nearby loch. The external walls are largely finished in low maintenance “Rockpanel”. The central stairwell is finished in traditional roughcast to give an alternative texture to this element.

The construction method was a mix of steel frame and blackwork around the central vertical circulation zone with the main accommodation built of timber frame, minimising impact on neighbours during construction and future maintenance. In terms of inclusive design, the building is designed to meet all needs, a lift serves all floors. The design team incorporated many of the current thinking towards meeting the needs of an ageing population including dementia friendly design helping to ensure that these are homes for life.

PROJECT: MacBrayne Apartments
LOCATION: Fort William
CLIENT: The Highland Council
ARCHITECT: Kearney Donald Partnership
MacBrayne Apartments
MacBrayne Apartments
MacBrayne Apartments

Main Contractor:  RE Campbell Joinery

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