Plans submitted to transform Scottish Sculpture Workshop for artists and communities

Posted on May 05, 2020

Collective Architecture have recently submitted a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council detailing the proposed transformation of the Scottish Sculpture Workshops in Lumsden.

The first dedicated sculpture workshop in Scotland, Scottish Sculpture Workshop is internationally recognised as a site of collective learning and skills development for artists. With an annual, ambitious programme of residency, projects, courses and open access, SSW has been welcoming artists to its site in Lumsden for over 40 years, since the founding of the workshop by artist Fred Bushe.

The transformational plans, developed by our practice in consultation with SSW’s users and local community, will upgrade the facilities to create an improved and accessible environment for artists and local makers. This will include transformed metal, wood and cold casting workshops, a new street facing community space, improvement for disability access and greater environmentally sustainability of the site.

With improved facilities, SSW plans to develop an innovative and experimental learning programme for a range of users. There will also be increased opportunities for skills development in partnership with schools, community groups, local users and artists, ensuring that local communities in Aberdeenshire will benefit from the workshop’s international connections and new facilities.

SSW Director, Sam Trotman says: “As the Director of Scottish Sculpture Workshop and a resident of Lumsden, I believe the transformation of our site will open up significant opportunities for artists and for our local community. We believe it is vital to offer the tools, skills, knowledge and networks to make and share arts and culture and to support the building of resilient and creative communities”.

From the outset, the redevelopment has been approached from the ‘ground-up’ and the plans evidence the utilisation of local skills, materials and knowledge. Function and environmental sustainability are foregrounded throughout, with a consideration for the site and local architecture.

Ewan Imrie of Collective Architecture says: “Through a highly rewarding collaborative design process with the staff and users of SSW, a proposed extension of the existing foundry has emerged, which logically connects the complex casting processes within a string of linked workshop spaces. By their U-shaped arrangement, they also separate the outdoor spaces into a busy, productive yard and a quieter, contemplative and social courtyard with lovely views to the hills.”