New Headquarters for St Andrews Links Trust




ARCHITECTURE: Commercial/Office/Hotel Building or Project


Nicoll Russell Studios


St Andrews Links Trust


St Andrews Links Trust operates, maintains and promotes the seven public golf courses that constitute the internationally renowned “Home of Golf” in St Andrews, Scotland. Their new HQ, designed by Nicoll Russell Studios following an invited competition, is located near the Eden Clubhouse in a semi-defined area of historical development within the wider links landscape. Remnant boundary walls and mature trees on the site sit in contrast to the open outlook across the immediately adjacent Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove golf courses.

The organisation, articulation and material quality of the Headquarters is designed to ground the building quietly yet confidently into this site. It draws influence from the familiar language of heavy sandstone masonry evident in so much of St Andrews, juxtaposed with a lighter touch that alludes to the pavilion forms traditionally found in the golfing landscape.

The HQ follows and reinforces an established site perimeter, continuing and emerging from a curving stone wall along its north-western edge that defines the boundary to the 18th green of the Strathtyrum Course. The building responds to the changing context around it, setting back along its south-western edge to present a new public frontage and landscaped entrance sequence accessed from an existing car park and looking out over the Balgove Course. Office accommodation sits discretely within this carefully composed perimeter masonry massing to one side and opens up to an area of beautiful mature trees to the other, taking full advantage of wonderful views back to St Andrews and out across the rolling greenery of the surrounding golf courses to the Eden estuary and beyond.

The buildings orientation, relationship to existing trees, and glazing configuration all balance view, daylighting, and solar impact. These considerations, along with passive summer shading (large roof overhangs, vertical fins, sectional step-backs, and supplementary deciduous tree planting), minimise potential summer cooling loads. An extensive photovoltaic installation forms part of the Trusts wider sustainability strategy, while a separate Energy Hub serves the HQ and future Clubhouse redevelopment.

A new “Gatehouse” element leads from a drop-off point and car park to the Eden Clubhouse. In conjunction with carefully considered hard and soft landscaping elements this further reinforces an architectural narrative of edges and thresholds that redefine and re-orientate visitor journeys. A new Starter Box serving the Balgove course completes this series of subtle interventions, seeking to present an overall composition of building and landscape that is simultaneously new yet familiar.


Keith Hunter Photography