The Engine Shed, opened on 3rd July 2017, provides Historic Environment Scotland with a centre to promote learning and engagement with the built heritage. Built as part of the Forthside army base at the turn of the 19th century, the shed was left redundant when the army base closed in the 1990’s. Finally rescued by HES, The Engine Shed, a RIAS Award Winner 2018, is an excellent example of conservation and the adaptation of an historic building for contemporary use.
The original shed is flanked by two new standalone structures which combined provide exhibition spaces, offices, labs, studios and seminar rooms. The 100 seat auditorium within the main shed was built as a box-within-a-box and provides an adaptable venue which can open into the building to accommodate up to 200 people in a conference scenario.
Structurally, due to poor ground conditions, the new sheds required a piled foundation solution unusual for single storey structures. Small diameter driven steel piles were adopted with a grid of ground beams carrying the new building loads. The sheds are of exposed glulam portal frame construction with expressed bolts and engineered timber joists were utilised to accommodate long roof spans. A conservation led, light touch approach was taken in the conversion of the existing shed. Careful analysis of the existing roof trusses and their loading allowed for rejuvenation of the roof finishes.
Good conservation practices and sustainability were key considerations throughout the project with a holistic approach adopted by the whole design team.
RIAS Award 2018
Scottish Design Awards 2018, Education Building/Project Category, Highly Commended,
CIAT 2018 Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology