The masterplan for the expansion of Tweedbank and the historic Lowood estates has been prepared for the Scottish Borders Council and the Borders Railway Blueprint. The proposals explore the potential expansion to the existing settlement (generated by the opening of the new Borders Railway) and include a new public space at the termination of the Borders Railway, homes, workspace and community facilities.
The masterplan exploits the natural topography of the site as a key part of the design strategy - stitching together the old and new parts of Tweedbank. It seeks to preserve the sensitive historic and natural setting through the retention of existing landscape where possible, the introduction of new trees and an appropriate vehicular and pedestrian network of routes which anticipates future change.
A ‘landscape armature’ – or ‘Tweedbank High Line’ - previously formed as part of the ancient river bed topography, acts as the key pedestrian/cycle route connecting the existing Lowood bridge business pavilions, station square, proposed residential woodland clusters, the existing Tweedbank Crafts Centre and the existing Tweedbank Community Centre.
The housing is configured as a series of medium density hamlets (reflecting the clustered form of the distinctive 1970’s Tweedbank neighbourhood). These are camouflaged within the footprint of existing commercial tree plantations and hidden from view by the existing plantation shelterbelts of deciduous trees. Historic precedents of bastle houses, sheilings, stells and even the distinctive orthogonal warp and weft of local Estate tweed fabrics provide inspiration for the form and identity of the new housing.
The new mixed-use Station Square (with facilities such as retail, health and well-being and a hostel) will provide an appropriate arrival space for Tweedbank and spatially connect the new northern residential hamlets to the proposed business park expansion and existing neighbourhood to the south.
A series of detailed building studies have been undertaken for the Scottish Borders Council to explore how various businesses can be integrated in the initial phases of the project and establish a thriving business environment in close proximity to Tweedbank station.
The AJ Architecture Awards recognise excellence in UK architecture across a range of categories, the winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Roundhouse Hotel on the 4th of December.