In 2006 Hoskins Architects won a national competition to design Mareel, the UK’s most northerly cinema and music venue, for Shetland Arts Development Agency.
Sitting on the edge of the historic Hay’s Dock in Lerwick, overlooking the Bressay Sound, the venue includes a multi-use auditorium, two cinema screens, recording studio, rehearsal rooms, creative industry spaces and a café/bar. The architectural response reflects the tradition of simple, robust forms typical in such exposed locations, and echoes the materiality of the fishing industry buildings dotted along the waterfront. The angular aluminium skin which wraps around and protects the acoustically sensitive spaces sits directly on the quay wall, ensuring a strong relationship with the water’s edge. Two large ‘cuts’ in the external skin of the building create a protected entrance to the main foyer and a window to the café/bar allowing views out across Hay’s Dock. Internally, timber linings bring warmth to the public spaces and contrast with the external feel of the building.