National Museum of Rural Life, Kittochside Building, Architect, Images, Phone
National Museum of Rural Life Scotland
Philipshill Road Building near East Kilbride, Scotland design by Page & Park Architects
post updated 4 December 2023
Location: Kittochside, East Kilbride, Strathclyde, southwest Scotland, UK.
Architect: Page & Park Architects, Glasgow
National Museum of Rural Life
Location: Kittochside, near East Kilbride
Date built: 1999-2001
Design: Page & Park Architects
National Museum of Rural Life in Scotland
Contact: 0131 247 4377
National Museum of Rural Life
Working Farm Experience
Take in the sights, smells and sounds of a 1950s working farm at the National Museum of Rural Life, complete with dairy cows and sheep.
Explore the work which took place in each season from ploughing fields to sowing seeds, hay making to harvesting.
The award-winning museum building is open daily and includes a coffee shop and gift shop, a fascinating Georgian farmhouse, farmyard and stocked fields.
Take a step back in time and explore rural life in Scotland in the past and discover how this has shaped the countryside as we now know it. A great day out for all the family with lots of things to do. A partnership between National Museums Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland.
Previously known as The Museum of Country Life
An intriguing collection in a beguiling building. Most people will arrive at the National Museum of Rural Life by car no doubt, in which case they are greeted by a sombre barn-like facade with a simple bridge to the powerfrul entrance. The entry is guarded by huge symmetrical timber-boarded doors, and the bridge deals with the steep fall to the south. Materials inside are rustic in type and expression with two types of brick, dull grey concrete beams and purlins and timber block floors.
There is nothing flash about the National Museum of Rural Life building : the mature compositions will certainly appeal to many architects but may seem rather sedate to others. The spiral route though will surely captivate even the very young. With a variety of views out of the building and down to the main exhibits, you slowly approach your quarry: rows of tractors, ploughs and other farming implements and machines. The ‘slabs’ of timber forming the balustrade to the lower ramp slowly peel away in a pleasing way. Everywhere is restraint, no gimmicks, just matter-of-fact form, structure and space.
It’s worth a walk around the National Museum of Rural Life exterior to see how the internal functions and spiral are expressed. The palette and restraint allow the building to lock into the landscape but still hold absolute supremacy. There is something of the Burrell here in the hard envelope, unrelenting to the rolls and folds of the land.
The workaday materials – especially the timber walls – remind me of the Tramway; the detailing is sharp with a subtle hierarchy of finish and articulation. For example the sliding central ‘tractor shed’ timber door into the Atrium’s lower floor varies subtley from the timber wall behind, quietly elevated in rank.
I – and others – got momentarily lost trying to re-emerge from the National Museum of Rural Life and the spaces are so homogeneous that it can be slightly disorientating. I didn’t mind the extra steps, in fact it was good to explore a new route; although the building is rigorously crafted the circulation is fairly free-flowing. This building is a breath of fresh air: intelligent, thoughtful architecture out in the country.
Museum of Country Life architects : Page & Park, Glasgow
Museum of Rural Life Opening Times: Daily 10am – 5pm
Please check with the Museum of Rural Life operators, details correct in late 2005
Adult £4 Conc £3 Children 12 and under free
NMS Members and NTS Members free (charge for special events)
Address: National Museum of Rural Life, Wester Kittochside, Philipshill Road, off Stewartfield Way, East Kilbride G76 9HR Tel: 0131 247 4377
Scottish Architecture: best Scottish buildings of the last three decades
As well as the The Museum of Country Life, Page & Park Architects have completed other key projects in and around Glasgow:
Glasgow Building Designs
Contemporary Glasgow Architectural Designs – recent Strathclyde property selection from this website:
Kelvingrove Art Gallery
photo : David Barbour / BDP
Glasgow Transport Museum
photo © Adrian Welch
Historic Glasgow : best buildings of the past
Glasgow Museum – People’s Palace
Comments / photos for the Scottish Museum of Country Life building at Wester Kittochside, Philipshill Road, near East Kilbride design by Page & Park Architects, Scotland, UK, page welcome.