Keppie completes HQ revamp for West Dunbartonshire Council

Staff at West Dunbartonshire Council have moved into a Keppie-designed flagship office building in Dumbarton.

The building at 16 Church Street provides a modern workspace for 500 staff, together with associated public services, replacing their previous dilapidated building at Garshake Road on the outskirts of town.

The site for the project was identified to create a catalyst for regeneration in Dumbarton town centre, with ambitions to conserve the façade of William Leiper’s Grade A listed former Burgh Hall and Academy Building.

The project brief sought to promote a culture of flexible, collaborative working in a safe and healthy workplace, provided in a frugal, efficient and sustainable building. The main entrance and public-fronting accommodation (Reception/Helpdesk, Civic Space and Training Rooms) are located within the curtilage of the original Academy. Beyond this, 3 floors of simple office floor plates are organised around a central atrium space which forms the social heart of the building.

The atrium is used as an informal workspace, for casual meetings, staff presentations and lunch while supporting the naturally lit and ventilated building strategies. In a conscious effort to stimulate the local High Street, no canteen was provided within the building.

Externally, the building envelope is subservient to the impressive Leiper façade, which itself was subject to a rigorous consolidation and repair strategy. This was supported by a £500,000 grant from Historic Environment Scotland who observed “a sensitive and well specified scheme that has the potential to become an exemplar project of conservation based regeneration”.

Euan Tyson, West Dunbartonshire Council’s project manager, said: “Staff and members of the community have been extremely positive about the completion of 16 Church Street, the excellent new workspace promotes our flexible working ethos, whilst the conservation works to the Grade A listed façade has brought a significant historical Dumbarton landmark back to life, with a Civic building to be proud of.”

Richard MacDonald, director from Keppie, added: “We are honoured to have been involved in such a prestigious project and proud to have worked alongside West Dunbartonshire Council to bring the Historic Academy back to life to provide an exemplar new workplace.”

The £15.4 million project was delivered for West Dunbartonshire Council by hub West Scotland as development partner with main contractor Lendlease.

All photography provided courtesy of Jim Stephenson.

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