Stow Station House shortlisted for My Place Awards 2023
We’re delighted to hear that Stow Station House has been shortlisted for the ‘My Place Awards’ which celebrates community-led built environment projects the transform their locality.
When the Waverley railway line serving the Scottish Borders was closed in 1969 The Stow station building fell into disuse and was converted into two houses. In 1999, the year the Scottish Parliament was established local people launched a campaign for the Borders Railway. This campaign was successful and resulted in the 2006 Waverly Railway Act. However initial proposals did not include a station in Stow and the building was to be demolished. Local people were not happy with this and raised funds and commissioned their own feasibility study to incorporate the Station back into the Waverley line. They were successful and the station and the building were saved!
When railway re-opening in 2015 it was a roaring success. However, the station build was still sitting neglected so local development group, The Stow Community Trust, saw the potential and had the vision to acquire the lease from Network Rail and apply for funding to repurpose the building and to create a community Bistro, meeting space and a community Cycle Hub and Workshop.
Local Architects Aitken Turnbull were commissioned for the Design. The brief called for the existing building to be retained and extended with the extension clearly differentiated from the existing building. This resulted in a contemporary extension with a simple form, a dual pitched zinc roofs and timber lined walls. Sustainability was a big consideration with the existing building being fully insulated and new heating installed powered by an air source heat pump. Scottish Timber cladding articulates the new platform elevation.
The new extension provides the main bistro space, with an exposed structure internally referencing the industrial architecture of the railway. Bespoke wallpaper by well known Stow artist Andrew Mackenzie providing softness and enhancing the connection to the local community. An historic glazed screen of the former ticket office, uncovered during the works, has been incorporated into the interior once again.
The project is the result of the influence and determination of the local community. It is a testament to respectful design on a prominent trackside site and retains the history and heritage of the Waverley Line for the benefit of the community and future generations.
The project has previously won the Railway Heritage Awards, Network Rail Community Building Award and a Scottish Borders Council Design Award.