Built upon the ruins of a derelict building in Portsoy harbour, the new boatbuilding centre employs a minimal materials palette which sites within the reconstructed external stone skin.

Photography by Nigel Rigden
  • Project Name
    Portsoy Boatbuilding Centre
  • Location
    Portsoy, Aberdeenshire
  • Year Completed
  • Key Materials
    Birch Ply, Polished Concrete Floor and Retained Stone
  • Engineer
    Rubislaw Associates

A primary Glulam structure creates a large industrial like space, which is lined in timber, creating a warm interior which contrasts with elements of exposed stonework. The building is used for the construction of timber boats, as well as for the teaching of the traditional skills involved to children and adults alike. The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival was not only the client, but its volunteers also in part constructed and completed the project, allowing them to help shape the space which they now inhabit.

This project was partly funded by Aberdeenshire Council, CARS (a collaboration between Aberdeenshire Council and Historic Scotland), and the Aberdeenshire European Fisheries Fund.

Articles about this project can be found on Archdaily, Urban Realm, e-architect and Dezeen
Brown Brown Portsoy Boatshed 158809

"Brown & Brown took a very difficult derelict site and have transformed it into our boat building and sailing education centre. The site has considerable constraints, and as a result meeting our requirements was always going to be difficult. Through imaginative design we have a building that fits with the historic context of the harbour, and combines modern design elements to an extremely high standard, while suiting our needs perfectly."

James Crombie, Vice-Chair Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

Project Team

Andrew Brown
Emma Gibb


If you’d like to discuss a project please contact Andrew or Kate on +44 (0)1975 325 003 or alternatively email info@brownandbrownarchitects.com