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Municipal Pavilion, Argyle Street, Rothesay, Bute

A Category A Listed Building in Rothesay, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 55.8407 / 55°50'26"N

Longitude: -5.062 / 5°3'43"W

OS Eastings: 208372

OS Northings: 665068

OS Grid: NS083650

Mapcode National: GBR FFW8.N2R

Mapcode Global: WH1LM.6GSB

Plus Code: 9C7PRWRQ+76

Entry Name: Municipal Pavilion, Argyle Street, Rothesay, Bute

Listing Name: Argyle Street, Rothesay Pavilion Including House at Rear and Boundary Wall

Listing Date: 2 February 1988

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 386382

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB40452

Building Class: Cultural

Also known as: Municipal Pavilion

ID on this website: 200386382

Location: Rothesay

County: Argyll and Bute

Town: Rothesay

Electoral Ward: Isle of Bute

Traditional County: Buteshire

Tagged with: Theatre Ballroom Music venue Caretaker's house Caretaker's house

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James Carrick, dated 1938 (competition won 1936). Asymmetrical, 2-storey and basement International Style entertainment pavilion with fully-glazed bowed wing to outer left cantilevered over recessed bowed, glazed vestibule; cantilevered canopy over 2nd floor terrace. Light buff-coloured synthetic stone (ashlar appearance); raised base, string and eaves courses; flat roofs. Overhanging terrace at 1st floor above central entrance; cubic stair projection off-set to right of centre; sheer wall above glazed row (ballroom) running full-width behind; raised red letters depicting "Pavilion" centred within. 2-storey, flat-roofed house to rear (converted for use as nursery late 20th century); harled; corniced eaves; projecting cills; similar glazing.

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 2-leaf part-glazed timber doors centred at ground; flanking side lights; replacement fanlight. Single windows at ground in 5 bays to right of entrance; full-width glazed sun lounge at 1st floor; projecting stair tower comprising 2-leaf timber door at ground, tall stair window above in penultimate bay to outer right; bipartite basement window in bay to outer right; tripartite windows at 1st and 2nd floors. Single windows at ground in 2 bays to left of entrance; cantilevered terrace above; bowed vestibule at ground in bay to outer left (set of 3 2-leaf glazed timber doors to N; multi-paned plate-glass fanlights); bowed 1st floor cafe above; surmounting cantilevered canopy.

Modern horizontal glazing (part opaque at ground); flat roof. Large tapering flag-pole piercing overhanging terrace to front.

INTERIOR: refurbished. Set of 3 2-leaf glazed timber vestibule doors, flanking side-lights; quadripartite fanlights; bowed timber kiosk beyond, flanking single doors. Angular stairs to 1st floor; terrazzo-coloured floor comprising abstract geometric designs; large ballroom, long proscenium opening. 1st floor cafe in bow to outer left.

NW (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION HOUSE: part-glazed timber door centred at ground; flanking stylised pilasters; single windows in bays to left and right; cantilevered canopy above; single window centred at 1st floor. NE (SIDE) ELEVATION: single windows centred at both floors. Flat roof; coped central stack; circular can.

BOUNDARY WALL: low coped curved random rubble boundary wall to Argyle Street.

Statement of Interest

With the beginning of a new century and holiday-makers now free to travel with their cars, sea-side resorts were forced to do as much as possible to make themselves attractive. Thus, the emergence of leisure pavilions such as those in Dunoon, Prestwick, Gourock and Rothesay. Here, with a dance hall forming the bulk of the structure, glazing rows and cantilevered canopies, Carrick designed a pavilion which offered "...the Glasgow holidaymaker an experience at the forefront of style in Scotland" (McKean p86). Today, the building remains intact despite recent redecoration - note the early use of concealed electric lighting and air-conditioning, large expanses of curtain-wall glazing, flat roofs and roof walks. The promenade roof behind the upper balcony was finished in Lavacrete to give a dry surface immediately after rain. The original interior scheme was specifically designed to give the effect of a sunrise. Walker refers to this as "International Style Modernism at its best with little if anything of its period to equal it in Scotland" (p159). His photograph shows the main stair prior to redecoration with stepped, blocked bannisters and enclosed lights on each newel (now gone). Category changed from B to A, 21 April 2005 in recognition of this building being one of the most significant pleasure buildings of the style in the country, surviving in remarkably intact condition.

Rothesay is one of Scotland's premier seaside resorts, developed primarily during the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and incorporates an earlier medieval settlement. The town retains a wide range of buildings characteristic of its development as a high status 19th century holiday resort, including a range of fine villas, a Victorian pier and promenade.

The history and development of Rothesay is defined by two major phases. The development of the medieval town, centred on Rothesay Castle, and the later 19th and early 20th century development of the town as a seaside resort. Buildings from this later development, reflect the wealth of the town during its heyday as a tourist destination, and include a range of domestic and commercial architecture of a scale sometimes found in larger burghs. Both the 19th and early 20th century growth of the town, with a particular flourish during the inter-war period, included areas of reclaimed foreshore, particularly along the coast to the east of the town and around the pier and pleasure gardens.

(List description revised as part of Rothesay listing review 2010-11).

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