The winning entry of the Larbert Loch Design Competition, by George Watt and Stewart Architects of Aberdeen, was officially opened on the 30th of September. The result of a collaboration between Architecture and Design Scotland, NHS Forth Valley and the Forestry Commission the competition attracted 31 entries. The viewing platform has now been built in Larbert Woods as part of a wider project to encourage more people from the hospital and community to use the woodland.
The pavilion is fully accessible for everyone and provides some sheltered seating for rest as well as seating for viewing. The pavilion is designed to fade organically back into the water and blend into the landscape by the progressive reduction of the construction elements. The structure is orientated towards the South East to enjoy good views, centred on the church at the other side of the loch and to benefit from the path of the sun, which would filter light through the fins forming the walls and cast constantly changing shadows.
GWS Architects worked closely with the contractor Bancon Construction and their partner Deeside Timber Frame in developing the design to ensure the most economic methods of constructing the pavilion were considered, and to meet the tight budgetary requirements. GWS developed highly detailed fabrication drawings for all components in order that these could be cut and shaped off-site, minimising time on site and ensuring a straightforward and problem free build. The pavilion appears to be well used already which is ultimately the desired result and makes all the hard work more than worthwhile.
Commenting on the competition and realisation of the project Lucy MacKenzie Partner at George Watt and Stewart Architects said:
It was fantastic to be involved with a design competition which went the distance to completion. It meant you had to put your money where your mouth was, i.e. balancing the budget while retaining the design integrity, and controlling the construction on site to ensure continuation of the original concept.
We dreamt about the detailing at stages, but are very pleased with how it has turned out!
It’s great that it is in a setting with lots of pedestrian traffic passing by. In fact on the very second day after completion we witnessed many dog walkers and the like stopping by for a nosy