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In central Kirkwall, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland funded Townscape Heritage Initiative is breathing new life into old buildings. The Storehouse on Bridge Street is the sympathetic restoration of a 19th century warehouse which over the years has served as a herring processor’s, a printer’s and a newsagents store.

Today, the building provides an atmospheric restaurant and eight bedrooms. Whilst the inner layout needed to undergo an extensive remodel, architect Leslie Burgher and Casey Construction successfully met the clients’ requirement to preserve as much of the history and character of the building as possible. Existing timber was recycled and reused, then combined with natural materials such as flagstone and oak to provide a warm industrial aesthetic. The development includes nods to the building’s former inhabitants, as well as to the Norse influence of the town.

Russwood Chateau Oak flooring was selected for its beautiful natural properties, which blended well with the original preserved timber. The client selected the ‘character’ grade finish, which features prominent figuring, a mixture of heartwood and sapwood and large, hand-filled and sanded knots giving a rustic finish. The ‘antique’ stain allows the oak to settle softly against the ancient timber and stonework.

Leslie Burgher said: ‘Russwood provided excellent advice prior to specification which ensured that the correct grade and budget was in place from the start, and subsequent direct discussions with the client ensured that they got the finish that they wanted.’

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