The Challenge

To restore a former vinery and potting shed at Banff for Aberdeenshire Council.  The Vinery, Bothy and walled garden are all that is left of a more extensive series of buildings and gardens forming part of Duff House estate in Banff. These B listed structures are of great significance to the community and the town.

Unused since the 1980’s, years of neglect and deterioration had led to both buildings being listed on the Buildings at Risk Register. Decades of water ingress to the Bothy had left much of the internal building fabric rotting and the roof in a state of collapse. Following emergency roof works the building was stripped back to the stone shell.  Restoration began in 2021.

The Response

Both buildings are relatively unchanged despite the various interventions with the existing stonework sympathetically repaired and fenestration unaltered. An independent wall lining to the Bothy improves thermal performance and provides service zones and the new vinery frame was crafted locally. Energy use is limited through low energy lighting and equipment; ventilation is natural (other than low energy fans to kitchen and toilets) and heating and hot water is provided via external heat pumps.

Both buildings have been repurposed in such a way that respects the tradition, craft and historic use, while acknowledging change and future adaption. Historically the gardens were an integral part of Duff House Estate (and the town). Their reinterpretation as a community facility, promoting mental and physical well-being, is entirely justified. The gardens and greenhouse are being planted to feed both the kitchen and café with waste returned back into the process.  New growth blossoms again from the Vinery.