In early 2013 The R&A sought to investigate options for the development of a single site Equipment Test Centre to be established to support the expansion of its activities in administering the Rules of Golf.
Wellwood Leslie Architects undertook a feasibility study and option appraisal to establish how the project requirement may be developed and how the completed facility may operate. The feasibility study concluded that the facility should be located in Fife, in close proximity to St Andrews and should be located with direct access to an existing golf driving range. An appraisal of existing golfing facilities in North East Fife identified the proposed site at Kingsbarns Golf Links as the most suitable location.
The design intention was to create a building reflective of the significance of the functions it contains and of the R&A’s stature within the game of golf but which saught to take account of the context in which it is located.
The form of the building has been arranged to minimise visual impact, to orient the entrance to address the approach and to locate the testing bays with access to the driving range.
The entrance is designed within the west gable of the building to address visitors on approach and is intended to convey an appropriate presence and scale for the building.
Overall the building is conceived to support the specialist research undertaken within it whilst visually blending with its natural setting. The building is intended to be visually discreet. The building is designed as a significant part of the infrastructure of golf within its natural home of St Andrews, Fife.