Hawkhead Road is a stunning £12m project that was undertaken for charities Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded, charities who provide support to ex-service men and women who have lost their sight during or after military service.
Located in Paisley town centre, the project comprises a new activity and support centre that was delivered in tandem with a new Royal Blind 54-room care home on the same site. The Hawkhead Centre is Scottish War Blinded’s flagship facility on the west side of Scotland, building upon the success of their existing facility, the Linburn Centre, in the east.
The centre provides a wide range of facilities to aid the charity in their work, including a sports hall, gymnasium, art room, wood workshop, kitchen skills room, IT skills room and a large dining area which forms the social hub and heart of the building. A significant part of the centre is the connection between the inside of the building and the new sensory garden to which it opens out, complete with planting areas, pergola, potting shed and greenhouse.
The design of the centre is inspired by the placename ‘Hawkhead’, the area of Paisley in which it is situated. This led to the key design move of envisaging the roof of the centre like a sweeping wing which shelters all of the activity and people below. This roof, which is lined in timber, has five large triangular rooflights set within it which provide light and interest to the central dining and gathering area. Every key room in the building has a visual connection to this sweeping roof and to the central gathering area, engendering a feeling of community and connection to a wider whole,
Royal Blind’s 54-bed care home is located to the north of the site and has been built to maximise the benefit of the surrounding woodland to residents. Designed to be a ‘home-from-home’, the specialist facility reaches two storeys and is spread across three inter-connected pavilions which have a sensory garden at its core.
Hawkhead Road was completed in summer-2017 after a 65-week construction programme and was launched in October 2017.
Scottish Royal & Blind and Scottish War Blinded