Dingleton Boilerhouse
project value: £450k

Studio DuB has won Planning Permission and Listed Building consent to convert a derelict boiler house at Dingleton, outside the Abbey town of Melrose in the Scottish Borders, into five apartments. The boiler house, by architect Peter Womersley, was completed in 1978 to serve an adjacent hospital, (now refurbished by others as apartments). Upon completion the building won the FT Award for Industrial Architecture and now exactly thirty years later Studio DuB has picked up the Roses Design Award for Best Proposed Building for the conversion.

The boiler house demonstrates Womersley’s sculptural talent in designing with concrete, adding flair to functional necessity. It was listed in 2008, along with a collection of other buildings by the same architect, marking an increasing recognition of his work. The austerity of the design is softened by the care in the level of finish and attention to detail in the craftwork of the shuttering.

Studio DuB has managed to turn the highly unusual qualities of the building to an advantage. The dominant concrete hoppers originally designed to funnel coal to the massive boilers will now act as large angled surfaces within the apartments enabling south light to be directed deep into the plan. The structure of the building has been used to delineate three self-similar units. The coal delivery area has been picked up in a new extension for a largely east facing flat. The original stair is retained, leading up to a large penthouse at the uppermost levels. Each apartment is designed to have its own external space and the original boiler flue is designed to be used for new wood burning stoves, each surrounded with their own contemporary interpretation of the inglenook.

The progress made by Studio DuB on the Dingleton Boiler house opens it up to a new future where the work of the reclusive Womersley can find a new life.

Design Team:
Gordon Duffy
Rebecca Wober
Przemyslaw Konopka
Katarina McNabb
Sinead Donnelly
Michael Whitfield
Sofia Farinas
Photographer: Rebecca Wober