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A Hotel Retreat Within a Wall at Stirling Castle

Part 1 Project 2008
Aisling Shannon
Robert Gordon University, UK
A boutique hotel within a wall at Stirling Castle. Thick concrete walls contain niches which offer intimate moments, and a sense of ownership. The design is solid and monolithic like the castle walls, becoming small-scale and vernacular like the neighouring old town buildings. The view is an event, not a constant. In-situ concrete walls are cast against textured wallpaper internally, offering a luxurious, tactile finish. The hotel seeks to improve a visitor’s experience of the Castle; the Esplanade, currently a car park, becomes a civic gathering space, contributing to a sense of arrival at Castle and hilltop.
Aisling Shannon

The project brief called for the design of a hotel on a sloping site of great distinctiveness close to the Esplanade of the Historic Castle in Stirling.
Aisling developed her own brief for the site after undertaking a scholarly review of the context, place and nature of how we should make a building on such a site. Led by a deep rooted understanding of culture and history she proposes a design which learns from and for the site blending new with old while reinforcing the eternal qualities of the place.

The design encompasses key moments in external and internal space that evoke memory and familiarity through proportion, atmosphere and tectonic expression.

The outwardly cool and measured design response belies a depth and complexity of ideas that are revealed from formality to intimacy from the macro to the micro, in the site planning and linear expression of the ‘inhabited wall’, circulation and habitation patterns, the disposition of public and private space to the design of rooms intimate places and thresholds. This ‘meaningful’ response is enforced with a knowledge and attention detail of how things are made.

Mr Neil Lamb
Mr Iain Ramsay
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