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Inverurie architect firm in demand on multimillion pound projects


By Kyle Ritchie

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An Aberdeenshire architectural practice and planning consultancy has been called to work on projects with a total value exceeding £50 million this year so far, it has been announced.

Since the start of the year, the 10-strong multidisciplinary team at Inverurie-based Lippe Architects + Planners has experienced an upturn in demand for its comprehensive, in-house services to work on a wide variety of residential, commercial, retail, industrial and community-based projects throughout the region and across Scotland.

A key part of the recent workload for the award-winning business was a significant enabling development project at Meldrum House Hotel.

Lippe Architects + Planners worked closely with stakeholders including the hotel’s owners, property firm Cairnrowan Custom Homes and the local authority to successfully navigate the intricacies of this complex planning process to revise previous plans and secure 34 homes.

A key part of the recent workload for the business was a significant enabling development project at Meldrum House Hotel.
A key part of the recent workload for the business was a significant enabling development project at Meldrum House Hotel.

This specially classified development seeks to recoup costs involved in the restoration of listed buildings at risk, in this case the A listed stable block at Meldrum House which has been successfully conserved and brought back into use as part of the hotel complex.

Revisions included the retention of a greater number of trees and historic woodland, and use of bespoke construction methods to "keyhole" plots reducing tree loss and soil disruption while maintaining ecological connectivity links to the wider landscape.

A masterplan has been prepared with the overarching aim of designing the development with landscape, heritage and biodiversity in mind and investment is also being made in amenity tree planting and habitat management within the development and across the wider estate landscape.

Commenting on the success of the year to date, director and principal architect Willie Lippe said: “In spite of ongoing economic challenges on the back of the Covid pandemic, we are delighted to be involved in a range of projects which have ensured a buoyant and busy first half of the year.

“Our work with Meldrum House Hotel and Cairnrowan is an excellent example of taking a long-standing relationship to a new phase, using our wealth of in-house expertise and sound local knowledge to achieve a positive outcome in a very prestigious project.

“We are delighted to help bring to fruition a development which leaves a legacy that everyone can be proud of and which will be a positive contribution to the local community in terms of investment and job creation.”

As one of the largest employers in the area, with more than 170 staff, director of Meldrum House Estates Bob Edwards said: “This was all about creating rural housing that not only blended seamlessly into the historic setting but also retained as much of the historic woodland and mature trees as possible.

"It was important to us that the project improved the ecological footprint and preserved the wildlife habitat within the estate.

"Using the latest technologies, these A-rated homes will be built to the highest levels of thermal performance in line with our eco-friendly strategy for the estate."

Gregor Davidson at Cairnrowan Custom Homes said: “It was a pleasure to be asked to work alongside Meldrum House Estate to create the design for development of 34 homes within the grounds of the estate.

"This has allowed Cairnrowan to continue to build high quality bespoke houses in the heart of Aberdeenshire.

"Our contemporary construction houses are designed and built to be airtight, which ensures the energy efficiency is at an optimum.

"We have put together a palette of materials which are sympathetic to the estate and golf club surroundings, which clients are embracing.

"To date we have handed over three houses, involved in construction of another two on site currently and are in design discussion with another eight clients.

"This development offers clients a number of different plots with varying outlooks to either the open countryside, the manicured golf course or nestled in amongst birch trees.”


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