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Modest Ninewells Leaf Room named Scotland’s best place

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March 22 2018

Modest Ninewells Leaf Room named Scotland’s best place
An unpreposessing garden room modelled on the form of a leaf within the grounds of Dundee's Ninewells Hospital has been recognised as the best new place in the Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards.

The Leaf Room offers a place of quiet repose to patients, staff and visitors on the edge of an area of woodland to the hospital’s south. Sitting beneath a distinctive ‘folded leaf’ structure, sloped to aid collection of recycled water, the roof overhangs an activity space intended for use in talks, concerts or quiet contemplation.

Project architect Jonathan Reeve said: “This was a special project for me to be involved with, given that my wife works at the hospital and that I live around the corner.”

Barbara Illsley of Dundee Civic Trust added: “The Leaf Room is a small building but it has had a big impact in the local community.

"The distinctive, folded leaf-shaped roof, reflecting the building’s position at the edge of valued and historic woodland, gives the garden a sense of identity. The Leaf Room also provides space for those using the garden, whether for workshops, meetings or just a place to meet and chat.”

The Leaf Room saw off challengers including Lamer Island Battery by RankinFraser; Cumnock Town Hall and pool by Dovecote Architecture; Kirkmichael by McGregor Bowes; An Crubh by WT and Pairc Niseaboist by Rural Design.

7 Comments

boaby wan
#1 Posted by boaby wan on 22 Mar 2018 at 16:02 PM
well done on the award, I'm sure the building is great for the users - but I still can't get over the roof edge detail on this one, every time you see it you can't quite believe how clunky that thing is!
Jonathan
#2 Posted by Jonathan on 23 Mar 2018 at 09:26 AM
Hi boaby. Thanks for the kind comment, the building is fantastic for the users and they love opening it up during the summer. I'm with you, I really like a good 'wafer thin' roof edge detail, but we had to employ a thick upstand here so we could recycle the rainwater (ie doing away with gutters).

Roofer made a great job of it though, and think you almost get away with the 'clunkiness' as you put it given the size of the huge timber beams!
boaby wan
#3 Posted by boaby wan on 23 Mar 2018 at 09:59 AM
Hi Jonathan, I understand the purpose, I guess the jarring thing is the "leaf" comparison - surely if the leaf inspiration was more than just a cue for the shape, you would have had a central valley to collect the rainwater... a bit like a... erm... leaf does? :)
Abi
#4 Posted by Abi on 23 Mar 2018 at 10:55 AM
I love this - congratulations! Such a wonderful space to have for patients, staff and visitors.
doug
#5 Posted by doug on 23 Mar 2018 at 13:57 PM
Depends which way up is the leaf boaby!
king creosote
#6 Posted by king creosote on 23 Mar 2018 at 14:01 PM
It's always very interesting to see what 'people' like. Not what architects think people like or think that they should like.

Perhaps familiarity breeds contempt in architects, while familiarity breeds appreciation and comfort in non-architects?

Great accolade to have been given, sincere congratulations.

That said, it's just a shame they didn't treat the garden shed in the foreground at the same time as they did the 'leaf room' - looks the same cladding but maybe a bit of creosote synergy gone begging...

Sorry John - couldn't resist. Don't take this comment to seriously, it was just a bad gag tacked on the end of a genuine congrats.
Colin McLean
#7 Posted by Colin McLean on 30 Mar 2018 at 20:05 PM
The key thing about the My Place Awards is that they are not architectural design awards. They need to have grown out of the community (as the Leaf clearly has!) and meet their needs.

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