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RGU students unveil Haddo House extension plans


Architecture Technology students at Robert Gordon University (RGU) have unveiled ambitious ideas for extending one of the north-east’s most picturesque stately homes.

The fourth year students were set a hypothetical brief to develop plans for a new cultural centre at Haddo House, near Ellon, which would provide teaching, learning, storage and a public museum.

The proposals, which utilise modern materials to express the cultural aspects of the north-east of Scotland in a contemporary way, would see an extension located to the south of the National Trust for Scotland property with the aim of reinvigorating the attraction.

In addition, the students also looked at ideas for the re-use of the existing south wing of the Grade A listed building which is currently empty.

The plans and 3D models will go on show at RGU’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment end of year show from Saturday, June 21 until Saturday, June 28, after which they will be exhibited at Haddo House itself in July.

Vincent McCaughey (23), one of the students involved in the project, said: “Our main objective during the project was to promote a social sustainability throughout the site which we looked to achieve by specifying a low impact approach to design and opening into the existing basement.

“We were also encouraged to implement low carbon construction methods while proposing environmentally friendly energy systems as a means to power the existing house and extension.”

Amy Miller, property manager at Haddo House, said: "The National Trust for Scotland was thrilled to work with RGU Architectural Technology students on this project. The students brought a fresh outlook to the site and gave us a lot of new ideas to think about. 

“It was a good opportunity for us to show students the potential that historic properties like Haddo House have to offer the public. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope to work with RGU students again in the future."

Course leader, Jonathan Scott, said: "The brief is hypothetical but it does tackle an important issue for our historic built environment in general and for Haddo House in particular - namely how to engage modern design and technology into our historic environment. 

“The project tackles the issues of how you may reinvigorate a historic building but still be able to read any new addition separately from the historically important House - therefore the project was to endorse contemporary design with modern materials and technology. 

“In addition, the project was to embrace the arts and culture in its function - the interpretation of this was up to the students to develop, with the ultimate aim of being able to increase footfall to the house throughout the year. Vincent's project embraced the idea of the arts but also how a building can more readily engage the garden spaces around it."

More information about the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment End of Year Show

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology