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The Coalface 
Visitor Hub ,Crawick Multiverse, Sanquhar

Civic Trust Awards Regional Finalist 2022 Logo

The Coalface   was designed for  Crawick Multiverse, the  Charles Jencks land art installation  created on the site of a former coalfield in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway. 


A 2022 Civic Trust Regional Finalist, the prefab design provides an economical, sustainable solution for an elegant structure housing  both amenities for  local  visitors, and  opportunities to make the site accessible to new visiting groups.

The concept: a structure that would be possible within a  small budget; would be constructed off site, delivered and installed, keeping disruption to the site  to a minimum; and would provide  a collection of independent, small spaces, configured to create an additional  multipurpose  courtyard. 


The facility offers combinations of public and private access, and the ability to  open and close off separate areas as required during different seasons. 

The facility comprises:  a small on site office  with meeting space, individual workspaces and kitchen facilities;  a ticket booth for the sale of refreshments and site related items. The adjoining  spaces can be entered form the courtyard and/or directly from the site,  and will work either as one unit or independently of each other depending on the level of staffing. Other spaces include  a secure store and  a block of 4 unisex WCs , one with disabled access, one for families and all designed for use by younger children.


Three pre-used, recycled containers were fitted out off-site at Echo’s workshop. Each space is  independent of the other keeping heating  and power requirements to a minimum where only one area is needed.


The small office space is highly insulated and is lined in spruce timber panels. Two double glazed doors provide natural ventilation and direct access to both the site and into the courtyard space. The adjoining shop and ticket booth is separated from the main office  space by a sliding door to prevent heat loss.   A secure store sits opposite,  and on the third side a block of 4 WCs  with robust stainless steel fittings, floor and galvanised corrugate lined interior walls  designed to be  easily maintained. The WCs are designed to be  accessed from the courtyard and also from the car park  for public use  out of hours.

The courtyard creates new opportunities for  activities  on the Multiverse site throughout the year, and  has been created using minimal additional resources. Heavy sliding doors  continue the buildings Larch cladding detail, and  internally the courtyard is clad in poplar panels, A sedum roof slows run off of rainwater to the surrounding area, replacing the small area of habitat now covered by new structure. 

Location :  Crawick Mulitverse , Sanquhar

Client : Crawick Mulitverse Trust

Year: 2021

Gross Internal  Area :  approx. 65m2 

Photos : ECHO

Status : Built 

Graphic Design  : Carrot Top Design, Sanquhar  

Other Echo Offices:

Of Grid Office for St Andrews University  

Crawick Multiverse Visitor Centre Plan
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