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A former coal mine will become an eco-tourism hotspot in Scotland

The Barony NP (UK) Ltd. has tapped British architectural practice Scott Brownrigg to transform the site of an ex-coal mine into The Barony, a 44-hectare wellness and cultural visitor facility in the southeast council area of East Ayrshire, Scotland. The design, which is still in the conceptual phase, draws heavily from the site’s original heritage, including The Barony A Frame, a preserved headgear from The Barony Colliery that is the last remaining example of its type in Britain. The masterplan also emphasizes a strong connection with the pastoral surroundings and will include a “dispersed hotel” of treehouses, villas and geodesic domes that will all be designed with a focus on nature.

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The 44-hectare masterplan will consist of 344 villas, a reception center, a visitor center, spa areas and ecological sites for growing food and re-naturalizing the former coal mine. A key challenge for the architects will be the topography, which drops significantly from the access road in the north down to Lugar Water, a famed river located at the south end of the site.

Related: Indonesian eco village features rammed earth domes and ocean views

rendering of people walking on path toward wood and metal visitors center

“Guiding the design concept is a desire to convey a sense of place throughout,” reads Scott Brownrigg’s press release. “The design makes use of the ‘A’ frame of the previous colliery to convey the site’s original heritage, and to mark out a series of zones within the site and, notably a processional arrival sequence. Continuing with this idea, the reception building will be articulated by a transitional, gabion basket stonewall that acts as the threshold between one world and another.”

map of buildings and trees dispersed across large area

The diverse collection of site-specific hotel villas, which will range from gabled timber cabins elevated into the treetops to low-lying suites that extend over the river, will be sensitively integrated into the landscape. Scott Brownrigg expects to submit a full planning application for the project in Q1 of this year.

+ Scott Brownrigg

Images via Scott Brownrigg

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