The second version of the sketch plans are in, designed to feed into a sustainable future for Dunans. The idea is that the ground and first storeys are used for functions and conferences, and storeys three and four are given over to accommodation for those who wish to stay here. We think the spiral staircase at the centre of the design will be extraordinary, as it is also a light well, creating a shaft of illumination through the building.
… and this is only possible because of two changes in the brief since draft v0.1. Firstly, we *think* a second staircase is unnecessary – or at least that is the advice ABC is giving us. And secondly, the interior walls are going to have to be stripped away. This means that we free up 10s of cubic metres of space … and space is becoming evermore valuable as we work on the business plan.
So before we feedback, we’ll be looking at the business plan and cash flows and seeing whether the raw capacity numbers add up. The other component I am presently working on is the market for conferencing – finding comparables, taking advice and not being too bullish … which is difficult given the prospect of the spiral (at the same dimension of the main turret) …
We’re awaiting the arrival of contractors for the investigatory works on the bridge, a meeting with the architect, and the reports on laser and bat surveys. In the meantime I am writing the business plan the bridge in order to consolidate the funding application to Historic Scotland. Its concentrated desk work, and for relief I took a walk in the pasture at the back of the castle yesterday, these photos are the result.
Much discussion over the next stage of the work pending the consultation responses from Historic Scotland, Argyll and Bute Council, the Community Council, Development Trust and of course our Lairds and Ladies. During the afternoon we discussed the possible reasons for the round tops to the eight stanchions on the bridge (which you see in every photo of the structure). Robin, our architect, and author of the Conservation Plan (available here) thinks that they might have been designed to have obelisks or turrets atop. He made this quick, very rough sketch to outline the idea and I had to share it with you. Of course the reality is that it is unlikely they were ever built, and if they were they were taken down for good reason. More research may reveal the real intent.
After 5 hours of working through our plans we called it a day, or at least that was the intention – instead, Sadie launched into TWTC work and I, for my sins, went off for a three hour meeting with the Development Trust. It really doesn’t stop!
Both the commemorative edition for Lairds and Ladies, and the PDF version have finally been published on ScottishLaird.com. This marks the first stage in the consultation on the plan, and all answers will contribute to the development of our plans for the building, grounds and bridge.