The Muirfield is a new build enterprise and community facility in Cumbernauld Town Centre that provides social, commercial and cultural activities under one roof. The project was commissioned by North Lanarkshire Council via Hub South West in partnership with local groups and organisations. The site is centrally located within Cumbernauld town centre, bounded by residential properties and mature woodland.
The new building and associated new parkland are located on the site of the former Muirfield Facility, which was used by a number of active local community groups, third sector organisations and busy local nursery. The existing building was in disrepair, lacked flexibility and was dominated by car parking and hard boundaries. A series of consultation events and discussions highlighted that the existing building was not fit for purpose and wider opportunities and benefits could be gained from a new build.
The new building creates a new home for the existing groups combined with additional shared spaces, community learning and development areas, café/kitchen area, new garden courtyard, purpose built nursery and garden, 1000m2 of office space for social enterprises plus 8000m2 of shared open space. Public events, classes, exhibitions, meetings and performances can take place in shared hall, meeting areas and shared flexible spaces, linked via a 3-storey atrium with multi-storey break-out spaces.
A series of public artworks were commissioned specifically for the new building most notably a new external light work by Patricia Fleming Projects inspired by the Landriggs of Old Cumbernauld.
The building form is deliberately powerful to convey the important activities which take place within the building and brings these together within one coherent form. A controlled palette of materials has been chosen to reflect this. The bottom two storeys are formed in brickwork with deep window reveals and colonnades at ground level. The upper storey is formed in glazed curtain walling and cladding panels to form a lightweight ‘cap’ to the building.
The landscaping strategy is simple and clear. A network of well-lit, tree-lined paths connect existing pathways, roads and underpasses to better link the site more closely to the town centre. A new open area for events and play is combined with woodland play, multi-sports and public seating to reinforce the main entrance and civic nature of the building.
Supporting StatementWe have chosen to nominate this project due to the collaborative and multi-faceted nature of both the design process and enhanced opportunities the building and its uses bring to Cumbernauld town centre. The Muirfield is the largest development to be built in Cumbernauld since the construction of the Town Centre Structure itself.
The project was developed through a series of consultations with existing building users, local stakeholders and the wider community, in the form of meetings, workshops and lively public presentations. It was evident from these events that the project had generated a great deal of interest within the local community and attendees were vocal and articulate in their ideas for the project. This collaborative approach ensured that emerging proposals were developed with support from both existing and future users of the new centre.
The design was developed over a number of years via feasibility study options and more detailed project planning consultations with existing community groups, local activists, local people of all ages and backgrounds. Through the consultative design process all community groups were able to input into the development and influence the design. This included Women’s Aid, Community Learning and Development, North Lanarkshire Unemployed Workers, the nursery, community groups and various dance/theatre groups. All existing building occupants returned to the new build and continue to grow and flourish. Equally, new businesses are working and operating from within the building and sharing facilities.
The new building and parkland create a strong visual presence within the Town Centre and hopes to influence the way in which other new buildings and landscape might evolve within Cumbernauld. The design was developed in association with the client group to form a site layout and building form across three storeys that enabled the creation of a new civic realm and parkland (not previously identified within the original project brief). An area of Woodland Play was developed by a fledging local action group consisting of parents seeking enhanced play facilities to serve the wider Cumbernauld community. The layout also sought to enhance links to the town centre and included the creation of new access road formed in consultation and engagement with Police Scotland (adjoining the site).
Local residents, businesses and visitors to Cumbernauld are provided with a purpose-built community and enterprise facility which reflects the civic nature of the site and town centre context. It creates a flexible and enhanced environment for existing organisations, new and evolving groups, brings new businesses to the area and provides shared spaces for a wide range of cultural and social activities.
The Muirfield provides new parkland and enhanced wayfinding to link the new facility back to Cumbernauld Town Centre, delivering a community asset beyond the initial scope and activities provided within the physical building itself.