Saint Columba Centre, Fionnphort, Isle of Mull

The design of a new exhibition and visitor centre and combined conservation workshops and training centre for Iona Abbey Limited, the management of the Iona Cathedral Trust.

Working with consulting engineer Buro Happold a solution was arrived at which provided shelter, exhibition and workshop space in an energy efficient building that seeks to respect and responds to the character and architectural traditions of its location. 

The external walls and roof are designed to ‘breath’ and are packed with Warmcel insulation (made from recycled paper). The outer wall has a traditional harled finish, while the sheltered inner courtyard wall is finished in timber boarding. Clerestories take maximum available daylight into the public areas but the exhibition space can be artificially lit to protect fragile historic exhibits on loan. The two-part green roof has been seeded with a mix of local grass and non-invasive wild plants.   The project was funded by ERDF Objective One and The Heritage Lottery Fund.