The prestigious UK Property Awards took place at the Lancaster Hotel in London on the 28 October. The remarkable restoration of Taymouth Castle, by local architects McKenzie Strickland Associates, was acknowledged there by a five star award for the Best Renovation/Redevelopment project.
For all associated with this project this was a very big night indeed - especially for the talented team of architects and designers at the practice whose offices in Aberfeldy and Crieff, seem to sizzle with award winning ideas!.
The most prestigious award of the night, the overall Best UK Redevelopment Project, was bestowed on Taymouth Castle. This qualifies the development to represent the UK in the International Awards in December.
Eric Strickland, who heads up McKenzie Strickland Associates and is pictured here at the awards, second left, said  “Winning these awards is wonderful - and we’ve got another evening in London next month.  But, much as we love these amazing projects, we remain focused on giving all our clients great value-for-money solutions and great service. Whether it’s a castle or a house extension, good design always pays off in the long term”.

Castle Project
The original castle dates back to 1550 and in 2013 the castle underwent a complete restoration process to renovate the stunning architectural style and unique history of Taymouth Castle. The 420 acre estate is being converted into a prestigious five star hotel which will provide the setting for an extensive state-of-the-art health spa, a range of restaurants and a collection of privately owned luxury estate properties, all built in a distinctive architectural approach and to exceptional standards.
To restore the original features, McKenzie Strickland were brought in to focus on the historic plasterwork, wooden carvings and painted vignettes. The first stage was the restoration of the principal rooms within the castle, built in a neo-gothic style.
Further intricate restoration works are underway including work on the Queen Victoria Suite of rooms, where she stayed in on one of her first visits to the highlands in 1842.
Part of the restoration involved cleaning the original carvings and plasterwork for the drawing room and the magnificent main staircase by Francis Bernasconi (1762 - 1841), one of the most successful in his field in Georgian Britain.
Great care and attention was also paid to restoring the murals, painted by Thomas Bonnar (1810 - 1873) in the Baron’s Hall. The Chinese Room was cleaned and reguilded to rejuvenate the hand painted drawing room ceilings by Cornelius Dixon, which took seven years to complete.
By working closely with Historic Scotland, McKenzie Strickland has preserved many of the castle’s original and unique features, replacing hundreds of windows and the lead roof, making the building water-tight and ensuring no further deterioration will occur.

Housing & Golf Course
The estate residences are also designed by the award winners, with an individual style incorporating pitched roofs and other distinctive design features, including stone chimneys and exterior fireplaces, timber panelling and rendering. A number of the units incorporate stone gateways and bridge walkways to the riverside units, all of which offer scenic views of the surrounding highland estate.
The Estate golf course was originally designed by James Braid, the famous creator of over two hundred golf courses throughout the UK including the renowned layouts at Gleneagles. Its remodelling has been inspired through a collaboration between Scotland’s pro golfer, Stephen Gallacher and international golf course specialists, Weller Design, and will open next year ahead of the Ryder Cup in 2016.



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