Winner of the Large Scale Category
Iona Village Hall was designed by WT Architecture and has been shortlisted in the aesthetic design (large scale) and community-led regeneration categories. It is located at the western edge of the village and forms a bookend to a cluster of civic buildings and the ruins of Iona Nunnery; a Scheduled Monument. Community input formed a vital part of the development of the brief and design, drawing on a deep understanding of island life, climate and social needs.
A key planning consideration was the visual impact of the new building on views towards the adjacent ruined Nunnery and the famous Iona Abbey. The gable of the Hall space marks the route of the ancient Road of the Dead; preserving the open vista down towards Martyrs Bay when viewed on approach from Iona Abbey. A series of stone walls to the terraces and south-west elevation of the building helps to root the largely timber-frame construction into the sloping ground. The stone walls, constructed in pink granite donated from Tormore quarry at Fionnphort and slate donated by the community on Luing, match those of the Nunnery and provide the building with not only a sense of embedment and belonging in the landscape but serve as a testament to community collaboration and endeavour, utilising local materials, skilled local labour and made possible by the generosity of fellow islanders. Community members were instrumental in organising the transport of this granite to the site.