Dunfermline’s Famous Linen Heritage

Dunfermline’s linen heritage dates back to the early 18th Century, but during the 19th Century, the Toun became a world leader in the manufacture of Damask linen. The scale of the industry was achieved through the introduction of steam power and Pilmuir Works was the first powered weaving linen mill in the town.

View of chimney stack located on the site of Pilmuir Works, Dunfermline

CLIENT / Marshall Construction and Byzantian Developments

ARCHITECT / Fraser/Livingstone Architects

BRIEF AND CONSTRUCTION / New homes within the restored Category A-listed former Damask linen factory

Buildings at Risk Register

Previously listed on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland, the complex of buildings was in a ruinous state. Our work involves the restoration of the Category A-listed former warehouse and office building facing onto Pilmuir Street, to create 24 new homes as part of the wider Linen Quarter redevelopment works.

Interior view of old linen quarter building
Yard at Pilmuir Works
Site from the air - Pilmuir Works Dunfermline

Restored and Reimagined

The existing 2-storey stone facade has be retained and restored, and a new varied brick clad extension added to the rear, facing onto a new landscaped courtyard. The material treatment of the new brick facade has been designed to respond sensitively to the restored stonework, while at the same time referencing the character and detailing to the toun’s last preserved industrial chimney that sits across the courtyard. The existing roof has been removed and a new black zinc clad form is added, creating an articulated, modelled, civic corner condition, affording long views out and responding to primary routes through the town.

Internally, 24 new flats have been sensitively inserted to take advantage of the existing openings facing onto Pilmuir Street whilst also overlooking the private courtyard space created in the Linen Works. Generous floor to ceiling heights across the ground, first, and second floor create light and airy spaces that benefit from both the morning sun on the east elevations and evening light to the west.

The new stairwells have been finished in simple materials with a robust finish to last over the years, whilst playful splashes of colour have been used on the entrance doors to create a welcoming, more personal, environment that pulls residents into the new flats.

Working in partnership with Marshall Construction and Byzantian Developments, the project was completed in March 2023.

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FLA TEAMAyla Riome, Coll Drury, Felix Wilson, Robin Livingstone, Malcolm Fraser

STRUCTURAL ENGINEERMcGregor McMahon Consulting Engineers


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