The Linen Quarter, Pilmuir Works
ARCHITECTURE: Residential - Multi Unit
Byzantian Developments Ltd
The Linen Quarter at Pilmuir Works is a new residential community created within the restored Category A-listed former Damask linen factory, previously on the Historic Environment Scotland’s Buildings at Risk Register. Pilmuir Works is one of the last remaining examples of the extensive Linen and textile industry that dominated the city during the 19th Century. The design for the site included the complex restoration and re-imagining of important features of the Grade A Listed site: the striking 28-bay, 3 storey Italianate warehouse that faces on to Pilmuir Street; the octagonal polychromatic brick chimney that is a recognisable feature visible across the city with its Engine house below and the curved stone frontage facing Winterthur Lane. In total 157 flats have been created of which 67 flats are within the existing restored buildings including 3 Commercial units are carefully integrated to provide a mix of uses benefiting the residents and the wider city centre context. Buying time for important design decisions and establishing solid common ground in the collaborative team was a crucial part of the strategy. The team met regularly with HES during the process of surveying the extensive fabric to establish structural and environmental strategies capable of straddling the demands of old buildings and modern living. The team had to balance the old fabric’s need to breathe with current thermal requirements, compensating for the inadequate thermal performance of the existing fabric. This was aligned to our approach and our desire to heat all residences utilising 100% local green energy courtesy of the pioneering Dunfermline District Heating System bringing huge benefits such as carbon reduction, reduced maintenance costs, increased comfort, and reduced fuel poverty. The central courtyard has been re-enclosed by the new buildings which although distinctly modern in character take their inspiration from the robust, bold, and regimented language of the adjacent mill buildings. The new brick, zinc, aluminium and Corten materials are robust and elegant, complementing the Victorian industrial heritage of the site. By celebrating and conserving this listed landmark through sensitive redevelopment we are ensuring that this renewed Linen Quarter is preserved for future generations and once again an integral part of the “Auld Grey Toun”.