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The Linen Quarter, Dunfermline

By George Spreckley
DJI 0663

Forterra’s Carsington Cream, a light buff clay brick, was selected for a new-build extension to complement the stone walls of an adjoining listed building on a Category A Listed site close to Dunfermline town centre.

Comprising a sympathetic redevelopment programme and new build on the Category A Listed site, the Linen Quarter has brought new life to a once derelict area.

The development of 157 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, and almost 10,500 square feet of office space, is on the site of the former Pilmuir Works which housed an extensive linen damask factory and warehouse complex.

Dominating the site is a 28-bay, three-storey Italianate warehouse with a two-storey, 18-bay extension with a curved façade. Built between 1883 and 1901, from coursed sandstone, partially stugged, and ashlar dressings, these buildings have been sensitively restored and converted to residential use.

The two-storey building has been extended with the addition of a new building, in Carsington Cream clay brick, that complements the Italianate stone façade of the original and continues the curvature, providing the site and the street a more defined edge than previously.

Another striking feature of the site is a polychromatic brick chimney, attached to the former engine room. The chimney has been retained in its original form while the engine room, adjacent to a new, urban public square, has been developed for commercial use.

Where the saw-tooth weaving sheds once stood in the centre of the works, a new courtyard is sheltered from the wind by the restored buildings and new additions situated along the site’s perimeter

The development celebrates and conserves the listed landmark buildings whilst also allowing the site to be commercially developed, giving it new purpose and relevance and thereby ensuring its future.

The existing listed buildings and contemporary additions are clearly defined through use of building materials. Clay brick was chosen as the primary material for the new and redeveloped parts of the Linen Quarter to both retain the industrial aesthetic of the site whilst also clearly articulating the new from the old. It was also selected because it is a durable and low maintenance material that will retain its attractive appearance for a long period of time.

The new materials used are in keeping with the industrial character of the site and sit sympathetically with the stone of the existing buildings and with the brick chimney.

In addition to the use of Carsington Cream, a new, central building has been constructed using a red clay brick to tie in with the listed polychromatic chimney.

Zinc with an anthracite colour treatment has been used on parts of the new build extensions to make it appear recessive and tie in with the existing slate roofs. Windows and metal work are also in anthracite grey.

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