Restoration and expansion of listed civic building
Faithlie Centre. Credit: Simon Kennedy Moxon Architects with Alan S Marshall Conservation Architect for Aberdeenshire Council
Contract value: £2.5m
Cost per m2: £2,750
The category B listed 1 Saltoun Square has been extensively restored and expanded into an adjacent former police station. A third element, a new build extension to the rear, unites the two buildings, creating level access as well as a new ‘front of house’ for council services. The complex brings together the council chamber, public service point, housing and financial services and registrar’s office. A community enterprise suite has also been incorporated, providing a much-needed resource for start-up companies in support of local economic diversification.
Unusually for a civic building here, Saltoun Square was built from sandstone. Seen at the time as more refined than the granite of the police station, it had fared badly in the coastal environment, with many of its mouldings eroded over time. These were restored through precise and methodical conservation. The same care and attention to provenance and detail has been employed on the restoration of the building’s prominent rotunda, statuary and external joinery as well as on the white-painted interiors. The new extension is a bold rectilinear volume, its large format weathering steel plate making it materially distinct from the original buildings which are visible from within and through it. The extension is intended as a durable but permeable structure set against the massive materiality of the older ones. This newly active frontage is enlivened by the passage of its users and the subtle layering of reflection, shadow and light.