Dunoon Burgh Hall

A new community heart

Page\Park Architects were commissioned by Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust to develop proposals for a welcoming and vibrant community run arts venue, supported by local volunteers. Designed by architect Robert Bryden in 1874, the Category B Listed and largely disused but much-loved Burgh Hall occupies a key position within the town at the top of the main shopping street. For some time, it was the only theatre in Argyll and was a focus for social life in Dunoon until the late 1950’s. By this time Dunoon was a major tourist destination and had a thriving US naval base.

In order to conserve and adapt the Burgh Hall for sustainable future use, two new contributions emerged. Firstly, a new front entrance with ramp provides access to disabled users off the high street, and secondly the addition of a glazed, stepped cafe extension into the south-facing garden creates a new ‘external attraction’ for the revamped building. Our approach to the design was to use a language echoing the Burgh Hall’s Baronial heritage with motifs of gables and crow steps.


Repair of the external historic fabric was a significant part of the project, whilst internally the majority of the historic features had already been lost. The existing scissor trusses to the main hall roof were beyond repair and therefore new structural steel trusses were inserted alongside the existing timber trusses to provide a new means of support to the roof.


Renovation of the interior provides the community with a variety of flexible, multi-functional events spaces. Clean, minimal gallery spaces due to host touring exhibitions are juxtaposed with raw, utilitarian workshops for artists: An intimate and relaxed timber lined café space sits in contrast to a 200 capacity Main Hall, allowing the Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust to return the Burgh Hall to the heart of the community as a sustainable and accessible arts venue

Project Info

Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust
95 Argyll St, Dunoon PA23 7DD
Internal Floor Area
May 2017
RICS 2018 Shortlist
Project Manager
Ann Campbell, Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust
Structural Engineer
David Narro Associates
M&E Engineer
Harley Haddow LLP
Cost Consultant
Doig + Smith
CDM Co-ordinator
CDM Scotland Ltd
W.H Kirkwood
Edmund Sumner