Community & Culture

Childcare, Early Learning & Family Centre


Cairndow Community Childcare

Location: Cairndow, Argyll

Project value: £1.69m

Completion Date: 2020


  • Shortlisted - Scottish Design Awards 2021 - Public Building Category

Cairndow Community Childcare Ltd is a local childcare provider established by a group of parents and carers in a rural community in Argyll.  MAST worked with Community Links Scotland to carry out a site appraisal and business planning exercise to establish the viability of a dedicated childcare and community facility to meet fast-growing demand within the local area.  Together with Community Links, we worked with the client to secure funding from various bodies, including the Big Lottery Fund and Argyll & Bute Council, with site works commencing in the summer of 2018.

In order to maximise the potential benefit to the surrounding community, a multi-purpose facility was created which offered dedicated childcare provision, a bespoke play barn (known as the ‘Fyne Den’) and a variety of flexible meeting and events spaces.  The building is wholly operated by the Cairndow Community Childcare group.

The building occupies a stunning location in the Argyll countryside on the shores of Loch Fyne, and has been designed as a contemporary interpretation of the agricultural forms found nearby.  Two distinct volumes have been created, one clad in standing seam zinc, the other in a black timber-effect cladding panel – these elements combining to create a building which sits comfortably against its rural surroundings. Flashes of coloured cladding and glazing are used to introduce a sense of playfulness and identity which aligns with the building’s end use.