Double award accolade for Borders railway station building restoration
A community trust restoration and refurbishment project that breathed fresh life into a Borders railway station building is celebrating two key award wins.
The project, the design of which was created and developed by Galashiels-based Aitken Turnbull Architects, secured a Scottish Borders Design Award and a national Network Rail Community Award.
The project resulted from an intensive local campaign and tireless effort by Stow Community Trust to acquire the lease of the Stow Station House. The building had been earmarked for demolition, as part of the reinstatement of the Waverley Line, however the vision and commitment of Stow Community Trust has seen it saved and redeveloped. The Community Trust had campaigned for years to secure it and raise funds to refurbish it.
This tenacity has now paid off with the Stow Community Trust having picked up two accolades – The Scottish Borders Design Award for Works to an Existing Building, and The Network Rail Community Building Award from the Railway Heritage Awards, where a plaque has now been unveiled and prominently displayed in Stow Station House, highlighting Stow Community Trust for ‘the restoration, refurbishment or other improvement of a station of building either by a community group, or for a community use which connects communities and promotes social inclusion’.
Having secured the building, the Trust’s plan is to now create a community bistro, bar/meeting space and cycle hub/workshop providing a superb new facility and employment for the local community.
Aitken Turnbull Architects was appointed initially to conceptualise and develop the design and then head up the design team to realise the project.
Ben Glennon, lead architect on the project, revealed that a key aspect of the brief stipulated by the trust was to retain and enhance the character of the existing building whilst maintaining the ‘heritage’ element of the structure and blend this with the new extension that would complement this and would house main bistro space.
He said: “The new extension has an exposed structure internally which acknowledges the bygone era of industrial railway building architecture but blends seamlessly with openness, vibrancy, and innovation. The modern design enhances the overall appeal of the building.
“The project is a fantastic example of an ability to create a high quality and aesthetically pleasing design on a prominent trackside site and one that retains the history and heritage of the Waverley Line for the benefit of the community for future generations.”
Grace Murray from Stow Community Trust added: “Throughout the development of Stow Station House that resulted in an award-winning development, Stow Community Trust worked closely with colleagues from Aitken Turnbull. The team was responsive and helpful throughout, and we are delighted with the result.”
Aitken Turnbull said it was also pleased to recognise the efforts of Stow Community Trust, quantity surveyors - Thomson Gray, civil & structural engineers - Will Rudd Davidson, local business services company - Waverley M&E and contractor James Swinton and Sons who all helped deliver the successful outcome of both awards.