Sunday, 11 November 2018

Filming the Machrie Rebuild

Rebuilding the Machrie Hotel was an exciting experience. We captured the progress with time lapse cameras and site photos. Here’s an edited summary.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

The Machrie Hotel

The new west side of the Machrie Hotel facing the 18th hole (above)
and the refurbished wing of the original Hotel (below)

The Machrie Hotel is a very special destination.  Set on Isle of Islay on the edge of the Laggan Bay with the 18 hole Championship Machrie Links course and miles of pristine SSSI beach, the hotel has opened its doors again following a complete refurbishment.  It now boasts 47 luxury bedrooms including lodges and a duplex suite, restaurant and bar, lounges, spa and even a cinema.

The Vision
The Machrie Golf Links and Hotel share the vision of being the go-to destination for Scottish Island Links Golf.  In tandem with the redevelopment of the hotel, the links course also underwent a full reworking to reinstate it as a Championship course and bring it closer to the original Willie Campbell design of 1891.  On approaching the Machrie, guests meet the 4-star hotel which sets the precedent for the Machrie experience, in this isolated and alluring location.

Our Role
DesignBox provided full project management and employer's agent services for the Machrie Hotel.  In addition DesignBox led several exercises including the organisation and connection of utilities (water, electricity, BT & fibre data), asbestos removal, demolition works, preparing accommodation for the site team, the logistical organisation of FF&E and OS&E deliveries and managing meetings.

Bar lounge adjacent to the restaurant

Key Information & The Team
The hotel was procured under a JCT traditional contract under Scottish Law with Hudson Architects as lead consultant and Morham and Brotchie (Oban) as Quantity Surveyors.  Interior design was provided by Peter Young Design with Lighting Design by Victoria Jerram.  The Structural and Services Engineers came from the Glasgow offices of David Narro Associates and Hulley and Kirkwood respectively. 

CorraMore Construction from Northern Ireland were appointed as the main contractor for the hotel, accompanied by a number of key subcontractors including EDS(NI) for the services, and JB Interiors for the specialist joinery.

The Machrie's Stag Lounge

The development of the Machrie Hotel followed a succession of animated summers.  In the summer of 2013 DesignBox was appointed to help secure consent for a mains water connection, a vital asset which had contributed to the Machrie Hotel's closure in 2011.   Following consent to connect, in the summer of 2014, with the Client and Hudson Architects we established the design team and developed the design.  In the summer of 2016 we started construction with CorraMore and following the installation of FF&E and OS&E, the Machrie Hotel re-opened in the late Summer of 2018. 

The Machrie Hotel from the 18th green

Special Mentions
The Machrie Golf Links and Hotel is a truly magical place.  The natural environment is full of colour and vibrant light.  Every five minutes the scenery takes on a completely different feel.  This extraordinary location has been made extra special by some key people:  The Clients and Campbell Gray Hotels for sharing and realising their vision for the Machrie Hotel and Golf Links, David (DJ) Russell, Edinburgh Landscaping and the Machrie Green Keeping Team for creating and maintaining this most incredible golf landscape, the hotel's design and contracting teams for executing the design proposals with precision, care and with good humour, but most of all the Clients for seizing the opportunity and having the conviction to create such a special place to share with everyone.

The Links landscape

Thursday, 11 October 2018

R.E made fun!

Who ever thought R.E. could be fun?  Thats just what we've discovered at Furzedown Primary School making Sukkah shelters with Year 3.  From models made in class, the children up-scaled their designs to create installations in the school's courtyard.  On several levels there were many parallels to be to architecture and building in practice:

Sukkah shelters at Furzedown Primary School

Keeping it simple
We used a small palate of materials to make the shelters; timber, correx, duct tape and leaves.  This kept our focus on swiftly creating a set of exciting shelters.

Limiting the number of fabrication processes
Their creations were realised with a minimal number of processes, driven by the restricted number of materials, but still offering many fabrication options.

Economy of materials
One child was pleased to create an impressive shelter using only one sheet of correx.

Keeping to a tight programme
It was essential to keep to a tight construction programme.  The lesson was 90 minutes long and I arrived half an hour late.  We had to stay focused and work quickly, knowing what we wanted to build with a clear process on how to achieve it.   

The smaller models formed the starting point for the larger installations although the properties of the correx offered possibilities for additional creativity; bending, folding and cutting to test structural and geometric possibilities of the material. 

The children really enjoyed having the creations to play with and as always I enjoy participating in their creative process.  I always come away thinking I have learnt as much from the experience as them, if not more.