West Lothian Council’s new Bathgate Partnership Centre is deﬁnitive proof that style and substance are achievable within the same building. The project, which evolved out of the desire to consolidate the council’s services and community facilities in a central location, now encompasses all public services on the ground foor with open plan office spaces on the upper level.
The civic complex, built by Ogilvie Construction to a stunning design by BDP, provides a “modern, attractive, practical and flexible” space, which can also boast of an ‘A’ rated Energy Performance Certifcate. Various sustainable design features, including a sedum roof, contribute towards this rating – as does the prolfic use of 100% recyclable materials throughout the construction. All of the above have led to this building winning the Carbon Trust Scotland Low Carbon Building Award 2012.
The upper level of the building is clad in brass, complementing the Caithness stone used on the ground floor exterior. At the rear of the building the stone gives way to the softer effect of timber cladding overlooking the garden area and south-facing orchard. A timber decked area optimises access to the garden and enables a more versatile use of the external space.
To ensure the safety of those using this external area, the FSC-certifed Garapa decking was fitted with Russwood’s GripDeck®, an exceptionally long-lasting solution which provides a highly slip resistant finish. Garapa is an extremely durable hardwood, which is perfect for public areas, with the beautiful appearance of the wood changing over time as it weathers to a silvery grey.
For the timber cladding Architect Select® Grade PEFC-certified Western Red Cedar was chosen, a virtually knot free wood which will also weather to the same attractive colour as the Garapa deck. BDP’s architect Ian McMillan states: “Russwood were able to offer a high quality and sustainable timber with excellent technical advice. We used the timber at ground level onto the landscaped pear tree orchard which gave a very warm and tactile feeling to the area which the public spaces open out onto.” With such thought put into the design, the Bathgate Partnership Centre stands to become the hub of the community, with beauty and functionality encouraging enjoyment of the space for years to come.
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