Playful Garden Visitor Centre, Brodie Castle

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Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award




Local Authority Area


Information about this scheme

The ambition of the project was to develop Brodie Castle and Estate into the major attraction that its stories, history and landscape merit. The creation of the Visitor Pavilion and Playful Garden has given the opportunity to present Brodie to visitors very simply and coherently. The project produces a discrete but engaging family attraction within the wider Brodie Estate; building on the heritage appeal of the Castle and landscape. It offers new opportunities for engagement with the Brodie heritage and inspiration for youngsters and their families. The Playful Garden is a beautifully landscaped space for exploration and adventure within the walled garden of the Castle. With areas for play, pause, performance and discovery it will attract visitors of all ages. The erz-designed Garden is supported by the new pavilion providing welcome and visitor facilities, indoor play areas, retail and catering. The project also encompasses improved car parking zones, coach park, landscaped pathways and wayfinding, allowing a year-round visitor attraction. The building design was developed as both the introduction to the Estate and the ‘backdrop’ to the Playful Garden. In line with an understanding that any new building on the Brodie Estate should not interrupt the historic significance of the place, the design is the antithesis of ‘iconic’. The simple barn-like form sits comfortably in the existing walled garden neither competing with nor mimicking the other buildings across the Estate. There is a full programme of free events run from the new pavilion seeking to engage local children and young adults in fiction writing and storytelling workshops. Creative writing skills are developed through fun games and tasks in both the new garden the extraordinary setting of Brodie Castle's library. The Trust is active in engaging with local community groups. Elemental Community Arts and Highland Youth Arts Hub, amongst many other are working in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland to use the new spaces for fun, participatory arts events that celebrate young people and provide an opportunity to liberate the imagination by using art as a catalyst for unique expression.



Hoskins Architects

Landscape Architect


Structural Engineer

David Narro Associates

Quantity Surveyor

Gardiner & Theobald LLP

Project Manager

Gardiner & Theobald LLP

Main Contractor

McGregor Construction Ltd


The National Trust for Scotland

Conservation Architect

Fiona Sinclair

Primary Use Class

Class D1f - Public Library/Archive/Visitor Centre