moxon architects has completed its new scottish headquarters, ‘quarry studios’ a highly contextual low-lying building sited in a former quarry. the project is surrounded by a heavily wooded site of special scientific interest in the cairngorms national park in the scottish highlands. anchored around two concrete monoliths, the principal studio and café buildings of quarry studios represent the private and public aspects of practice — encouraging collaboration and concentration and is a response to the growth of the practice in recent years.

moxon architects quarry studios
images by timothy soar

 

 

moxon architects‘ quarry studios is conceptually anchored in the landscape by two main elements — vertical concrete chimneys acting as a counterpoint to the low profile of the roof and a massive timber wall that intersects each volume. around these, the hybrid steel and timber frame, sheet metal roof and black timber walls are wrapped. tucked into the bowl of the quarry with the roof-line set parallel to the escarpment edge above, the mono-pitch roof to the front of each volume matches the side slopes of the quarry and presents a single-story covered colonnade towards the center of the site. 

moxon architects quarry studios

 

 

each interior space of moxon architects’ quarry studios has an external counterpart with related characteristics. by turns introverted, expansive, shaded, private or publicly accessible depending on its function. for example, a private office combines with a partial courtyard planted with native shade tolerant species while clerestory glazing connects the studio with its roof terrace, bringing north light deep into the plan and providing views to the top of the quarry bowl and the dramatically elevated surrounding treeline.

moxon architects quarry studios

 

 

the interlocking timber walls that demarcate the building plan are formed from douglas fir sections supplied in 4.8 meter lengths, nearly 16 feet. the site is located close to several specialist timber yards, which felled and partially seasoned the material locally. the timber was further milled, shaped and planed on site before being stacked in place using the primary structure of the building as kingposts. these walls organize internal and external areas alike into primary and secondary spaces, allowing a visual continuity between them.

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project info:

 

project title: quarry studios

architecture: moxon architects

location: cairngorms national park, scotland

structural engineer: graeme craig consulting engineer

CDM coordinators: george watt + stewart architects

completion: september 2020

photography: timothy soar