Avalanche of criticism buries Ayr Renaissance centrepiece
May 10 2018Keppie-designed headquarters on a sensitive waterfront site.
No less than 364 objections were registered for the contentious build, which would have seen a four storey office block rise on the banks of the River Ayr, centerpiece of a £30m masterplan for land bounded by High Street, medieval ‘Auld Brig’ and the Victorian ‘New Bridge’.
Amongst those to thwart the project were the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland which expressed the view that the proposed scheme did not meet the standards of ‘high quality architectural design’ and a ‘detrimental’ effect on the town’s skyline.
Such sentiments were born out of divergence from an earlier masterplan by Niall McLaughlin Architects which called for a double-gabled frontage to address the river and direct access from the High Street.
Architect Patrick Lorimer complained that ‘No effort has been made to relate the new elevations to the existing’, adding that local townscape characteristics have been ‘completely ignored’.
Based on past precedent set by its office space for its West Dunbartonshire Council offices in Dumbarton Keppie dropped smaller attic levels in favour of screened rooftop plant and offered only a secondary access pend to the east – although provision would have been made to open an additional High Street entrance at a later date.
Such sentiments led councilors to unanimously object to their own new home to allow a reappraisal of their approach.
Back to May 2018
Like us on Facebook
Become a fan and share
Features & Reports
For more information from the industry visit our Features & Reports section.