Scottish War Blinded, The Linburn Centre, Phase 1
Scottish War Blinded
Louis Braille Avenue, Wilkieston EH27 8EJ
Internal Floor Area
A striking new home for Scottish War Blinded, the dynamic form of the building is apparent in both the twisting roof and shaped plan. The twisting roof creates a continuous canopy over a range of activity and recreation spaces. The shaped plan is arranged to welcome visitors to an entrance ‘courtyard’ at the north, and to open out to a garden terrace to the south.
Page\Park were appointed at the beginning of 2008 to design a new facility for Scottish War Blinded at their inspiring site at Linburn, West Lothian. The 800msq building replaced the charity’s existing 1950’s facility which occupied an adjacent site. The RIAS competition winning scheme took inspiration from a hand-carved Chinese celestial dragon which was housed in the display room of their former facility. This inspiration manifests itself in the sweeping and twisting geometry and the building’s undulating and dynamic zinc roof.
The building offers a non-institutional, comfortable and sociable environment whilst also providing rehabilitation and life skills assistance for servicemen and women suffering from visual impairments. The new facility includes a workshop, art space, training areas, a gym, therapy spaces and admin offices as well as a remembrance room. With the facility now taking in veterans of more recent conflicts, the mixture of activities reflects the changing demographic of users the organisation now supports.
The building harbours a strong focus on internal flow, with a mainly open plan arrangement fed by one circulation spine. The organisation of the building aims to be as simple as possible so that the users can easily form a mental picture of the building, thus allowing straightforward navigation through the building. In addition, bold gestures are made at doorways and changes of direction to further assist building users’ wayfinding.
The project looked to build on experience the practice gained in working with the cancer charity Maggie’s. Their ethos of using design as part of the healing process was taken through in to the design of the Linburn centre and formed a strong part of the conceptual development. A non-institutional feel, ample provision of natural light, natural ventilation and an almost constant connection to the external landscape were key drivers in the development of the architecture.
2011 GIA Award – Healthcare
2011 Andrew Doolan Award Shortlist
2012 RICS – Design & Innovation Award
2012 RICS Scottish Project of the Year