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Flexible and resilient architecture for a local community

Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn Community Business Centre

Galson Estate Business Centre6


Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (Galson Estate Trust)


South Galson, Isle of Lewis



The transformed business centre provides a versatile and innovative solution for the local community and visitors alike, providing office, retail and event space within a warm and inviting environment.

The background

The Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (Galson Estate Trust) growing community outreach programme has been given a fresh lease of life thanks to its new headquarters and operational base.  The Trust was previously housed in a building devastated by fire in February 2019 leaving only the access road, garage and parking area untouched.

Galson Estate Business Centre4 1
Galson Estate Business Centre8
Galson Estate Business Centre5

The design approach

The new facility retains these elements but with a larger footprint, embracing the landscape setting and new ways to utilise the wider site. The building enables the growth of the organisation by being accessible and open, with a more flexible space suitable for exhibitions and seminars, alongside comfortable workspace.

The sequence of spaces through the centre allows full public access from the entrance lobby through to the reception and touch down space and at the same time provides controlled access to the primary work area and meeting spaces. At the core of the building is a clerestory lit circulation space which doubles as an exhibition area telling the story of the community land purchase which was undertaken shortly after the Land Reform Act of 2003.

To improve visibility of the entrance, it is located at the west corner of the building, highlighted by a glazed corner which acts as a beacon from the main road.

The exhibition space, immediately accessible from the main entrance, has large windows to connect the interior to its landscape. Mobile, freestanding partitions, create flexibility in the space along with more spacious catering facilities which will allow for small catered events.

The building enables the growth of the organisation by being accessible and open, with a more flexible space suitable for exhibitions and seminars, alongside comfortable workspace.

Galson Estate Business Centre3
Galson Estate Business Centre1
Galson Estate Business Centre7

The impact

The project has allowed the Trust to turn their dream for a flexible community building into a reality and this, in turn, has enabled them to deliver their strategic goals through community empowerment. 

Galson Estate Business Centre

Oberlanders’ designed building is magnificent and an exemplary community achievement.

Kate Forbes



Sradag Creative

Catriona Hill Partner Civic Community Arts lead North lead

If you want to know more about our work in this sector, contact Catriona our sector lead.

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