Celebrated Scottish poet and songwriter Robert Burns can now call claim to a new space that celebrates the works of his life. Constructed as a lovely eco building, the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, which opened this fall, is located in the village of Alloway on the outskirts of the town of Ayr. Designed by Simpson & Brown with engineering by Buro Happold, this stunning and sustainable structure is topped with a curvaceous green roof, is built from local materials and uses a ventilation system that draws cool air from the earth.
The new Burns museum is set on 10 acres of the Alloway countryside and comprises the cottage he was born in – which was built by his father – along with gardens and the new museum. Inside, the modern eco museum houses the world’s most important Burns collection of manuscripts, art and more than 5,000 artifacts. All of the sensitive exhibits are sealed in airtight cases to protect them from external conditions while also reducing energy use associated with conditioning the artifacts.
Simpson & Brown took on the renovations of the cottage and grounds as well as the design of the new museum with help from Buro Happold. Ground source heat pumps were bored 100m into the ground to provide a constant source for energy efficient heating and cooling. The ventilation system designed by Buro Happold makes use of “earth tubes” where were buried 2 meters into the ground. These tubes draw in fresh, cool air to provide pre-cooling and heating for the variable air volume ventilation system. A sweeping green roof tops off the new £21 million museum, which was built using local stone and wood.
Lead Image ©Robert Burns Birthplace Museum