Timber viewpoints in the landscape
A prominent theme in the shortlist of this year’s Best Use of Timber Awards Exhibition has been looking out. This article explores how three projects that have used timber to create structures to help focus visitors’ attention on the wider landscape.
Pyramid Viewpoint by BTE Architecture, Inveruglas, Loch Lomond
At Inveruglas on Loch Lomond the “pyramid” viewpoint by BTE Architecture uses a stepped timber structure, hidden on approach, framing the view over loch Lomond. When walking through the tunnel visitors find themselves in the wider landscape and able to turn back and climb on top of the structure. A single timber material creates a mass to reckon with the tumultuous landscape of the surrounding area.
This project was delivered as part of the Scottish Scenic Routes initiative – a Scottish Government competition enabling emerging young architects and landscape architects to realise projects while encouraging access to the wider Scottish landscape.
Laggan Locks, Sean Douglas and Gavin Murray
Laggan Locks, by Sean Douglas and Gavin Murray and part of the Scottish Scenic Route programme, provides a framed view of a waterway surrounded by mountains. The black and white finished larch adopts the finish of typical canal side structures, and the space provides a small seasonal café and a toilet. Where the Pyramid Viewpoint looks out, opens up and embraces the wider landscape, Laggan Locks focuses the visitor in, hunkers down and provides much needed shelter.
Forsinard Lookout Tower, Icosis Architects, Sutherland Peat Bogs
Embracing vertical timber cladding Forsinard Lookout Tower, by Icosis architects for The Peatland Partnership, does not frame a view but itself becomes an exclamation mark in the flat landscape of the Sutherland Peat Bogs, creating an elevated viewpoint over the unique landscape. While the other two projects reflect the mountainous landscapes in their angular forms this modern day “broch” uses curved forms to blend in with a much more understated landscape.
In all three projects timber has been used not only for its ability to blend in with the natural landscape, but for the availability of supply in remote locations, and its light weight for transportation to and construction in sensitive locations. Explore more in the Best Use of Timber Awards Exhibition.
Pyramid Viewpoint – Andrew Lee
Laggan Locks – David McKenna
Forsinard Lookout Tower – Maciej Winiarczyk and Sjoerd Tel