Sustainable Design and Materials
The project itself was several years in the planning, requiring £5.5 million in funding from the Scottish Government and built on land donated by South Ayrshire Council worth almost £3 million. Carpenter Oak had an in-depth involvement in the planning stage, working with the client, architects and engineers for two years. It was also the first project Carpenter Oak used 3D CAD drawings for the frame design.
Sustainability was a key part of the design, with passive systems, careful integration of technology and the use of passive solar gain and natural ventilation. The museum also maximises the use of natural, minimally processed materials.
Douglas Fir and Steel Combine
The hybrid frame consists of locally sourced and traditionally jointed and Douglas fir with steel flitch plated engineered joints. Much of the bracing is achieved using steel cables and the contoured roof outriggers create the impression of movement on the exterior elevations. The frame is built from 129 cubic meters of Douglas fir – with some lengths of up to 9 metres – sourced from a forest north of the Scottish border
The frame is arranged around a 500 square metre exhibition gallery displaying many of the 5,000 artefacts in the museum’s collection. The new building also accommodates a café opening onto the beautiful mature gardens inherited from an earlier building, a gift shop and an attractive and welcoming education room.
The new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum opened to the public on St Andrew’s Day 2010.