Design Awards 2014
Scottish Scenic Routes Pilot
Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority
Category: Small Works
Winner: Design Award
The Scottish Scenic Routes project is a developing Scottish Government funded three year pilot project that seeks to enhance Scotland’s natural landscapes by developing a series of small interventions along key tourist routes. One of the guiding principles of this pilot project is to engage with young, untested design talent who have largely remained excluded from such processes and represent a great untapped resource. All of the designers of these projects are either recently qualified part 2 graduates or current architecture students.
The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority were chosen to deliver the first phase of this project and their in house chartered architects oversaw the process from initial design competition to final delivery, mentoring the young designers through an often complex process.
The project consists of two competition-procured installations at the Falls of Falloch and Loch Lubnaig and one university grant aided, self-built project at Balquhidder Glen. These projects are now open to the public and the second round of Scenic Routes projects have now commenced in the Cairngorms National Park and Laggan on the Caledonian Canal.
Falls of Falloch – Woven Sound
Designed by John Kennedy
John studied Architecture in University of Strathclyde and graduated in 2013. He won the Scenic Routes Competition whilst working at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners where he still works.
The Falls of Falloch is a very well known waterfall adjacent to the main Glasgow to Oban road. The Falls are recorded in many works of literature over the years including the travel diaries of various Romantic writers of
the 18th and 19th centuries. The installation at the Falls is intended to provide a sheltered viewing platform which allows visitors to experience the drama of the Falls at closer range. Cantilevering over the edge of the water, the shelter takes the form of a long narrow trellis which weaves its way between existing trees to the cliff edge at the falls. The structure is very delicately inserted into the context, wrapping around existing trees and following the contours of the ground. The shelter is formed from lengths of steel-reinforcing bar woven together to create an undulating, sculptural shape that forms a journey through the forest, focusing the sound of the falls and finishing at the water’s edge. The thoughts of Dorothy Wordsworth on her experiences of the Falls are engraved
on the end balustrade – providing a visual and literary link to the Grand Tourist of the past and reinforcing this project’s part in defining a new grand route through Scotland’s scenery.
Loch Lubnaig – Sloc nan Sìtheanach
Designed by Ruairidh Campbell Moir
Ruairidh studied Architecture in University of Strathclyde and graduated in 2013. He won the Scenic Routes Competition whilst working at Miralles Tagliabue EMBT studio in Barcelona. He has since returned to Glasgow to develop his own practice: BARD.
The site is located in the Trossachs, just off the main road from Stirling to Crianlarich and overlooks the long, narrow and deep Loch Lubnaig. The location of the installation is a small, natural hollow in the ground, elevated above the Loch where people had formally taken a break from their journey and sat to take in the stunning views. ‘Sloc’ is Scots gaelic for ‘grassy hollow’, and ‘Sìtheanach’ represents faerie people, who according to mythology reside at such places of peace and tranquillity. The existing hollow was subtly reinforced by building up the ground behind using a timber crib wall to form a curving embankment of earth and planting to shelter one from the noise of the road. A path threads from the car park through what will, with each passing season become a thicket of Blackthorn to a steel and stone bench. From here a weary traveller can sit and appreciate the far reaching views up the Loch.
At the end of the path and overhanging the Loch is a steel promontory which features a verse by local bard Alexander Campbell: ‘Now Winter’s wind sweeps’ which describes mans place in the natural cycle and
encourages one to not only to appreciate one’s surroundings but also one’s fleeting moment amongst them.
Designed by Dan Tyler and Angus Ritchie
Dan and Angus are current Masters Students at Strathclyde University and the Lookout formed the basis of their Masters thesis. The Lookout was designed and physically built by Angus and Dan during April 2014. Dan now works for Page/Park and Angus works for Nord.
Dan and Angus began this process by questioning at a fundamental level what they wanted to gain from their final year in academia. A long process of research led them to realise a built project to ultimately better understand the complexity that construction brings to a project and perhaps better prepare them for professional practice. In September 2013 Scottish universities were offered grant funding to embed the Scenic Routes project within their academic programs as a parallel to the main competition process. The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority (LLTNPA) became the university’s grant sponsor for the year and ultimately the project’s client and mentor.
The Lookout is a small, mirrored belvedere with two integral seats that enables someone to view the landscape from many differing perspectives; from sitting in a sheltered seat to standing afar considering the reflections. It was developed and articulated around geometry of standard sheet material to simplify the build process; a 2440mm cube was the basis of the form development with voids introduced to frame space or guide views. The location of the Lookout is at the meeting of two lochs in a wide open highland landscape that multiplies the effect of the highly reflective surfaces.
The project has been a great success both in terms of academic outcome as well as the architecture itself. It must be highlighted that even though the Lookout is exempt from most statutory approvals it is a publicly accessible building – not a pavilion in a private garden and has been built to a very rigorous and robust standard by Dan and Angus.