Architects to build studio in old quarry

An artist's impression of Moxon Architects' studio at Crathie
An artist's impression of Moxon Architects' studio at Crathie

A leading firm of architects is to establish a new studio in a disused quarry in Upper Deeside.

Moxon has been given planning approval to build headquarters at Crathie for its expanding Scottish arm.

Quarry Studios has been conceived to minimise its impact on the surrounding landscape and ecology while realising an ‘ambitious’ architectural vision for the site – a former gravel quarry.

Nestling within the sweeping bowl of the quarry, the office building prioritises insulation, high performance windows and maximum solar gain in order to create a ‘climate proof’ building extending through private and public halves.

The firm says: “The studio proposal comprises two low-lying buildings that sit at either side of an existing topographic barrier covered in mature birch, rowan and aspen.

“The purpose of splitting the office premises into two components is to reflect the twin roles of an architecture practice:

focused design work and broad collaboration.

“The more privately positioned building houses the office premises for the practice - containing a studio, meeting rooms, offices and back-of-house facilities.

“Hidden from view and protected by the landscape from noise, it is a peaceful and concentrated area to work.”

It adds: “Conversely, the road-facing building is designed to house social and flexible working spaces for the practice, including a small kitchen and staff dining area.

“A lounge also functions as an additional informal meeting area to welcome guests and clients.

“The two buildings are connected by a covered walk that provides all-weather circulation and a sheltered space to enjoy the wooded surroundings.”

Construction of the 400sqm facility is due to get under way soon.

The new studio will become the permanent base for Moxon’ Scottish operations with its London office continuing to grow.

The company says the Deeside development will give it a broad portfolio of work both internationally and across the UK.

It has been involved in major infrastructure schemes including the high-speed rail netword HS2 and a range of arts and conservation developments in the south-west of England.

Projects already under way in Scotland include the Fife Arms Hotel in Braemar and the Cairngorms National Park headquarters.