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Kilmartin Museum Mid Argyll

Kilmartin Museum Trust

Kilmartin Glen possesses a rare combination of light and landscape. There is a unique quality to the scale and layered complexity of the land forms that collude to create a place apart, a sacred place. These qualities were recognized by ancient cultures whose enigmatic structures and rock drawings serve as a permanent reminder of past activity and continue to heighten the mystic sense.

The poet Kenneth White talks about a mindscape in a landscape. His concern is with the grounding of a culture. We too are drawn to places that enjoy a heightened sense of geography and history. We are inspired by territories that occupy locations on the periphery. Certain projects from the edge have allowed us to explore real concerns for place through the actual physical making of buildings. These more intimate buildings allow us to speak directly with the people who will use and live with our buildings on a daily basis. We see these as projects particularly laden with ideas that ground us in a culture and landscape. Thus we are drawn to the Kilmartin House Museum project.

Our architectural approach is to create a building that returns both the artefacts and the story to the shadows, to the ground, thereby regaining dignity and gravity while adding drama and depth both literally and metaphorically to the narrative. Our intention is to create an earth-bound architecture that is reticent and durable.

Kilmartin House, a former manse, engages in an animated conversation with the Kirk. Its white vestment is outspoken, and its voice is clearly audible across the glen. In contrast, the Kirk, a simple reticent stone structure, listens attentively, sage like.

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