Complied by Leah Linhares
Photography: courtesy the architects
Young minds of BTE Architecture pull off an iconic pyramidal structure for the Loch Lomond and The National Park with subtle design that bridges nature and architecture…
Located on a peninsula overlooking U.K.'s largest stretch of inland water - Loch Lomond, an existing cafe plays landmark to the entrance of BTE Architecture’s Pyramid Viewpoint, welcoming guests, who arrive by car or boat. From the car park at the adjacent jetty, the site is surrounded by a system of pathways - series of steps and easily accessible ramps - that lead its visitors into the peninsula sheltered by large rocks, trees and bushes.
Shaped like a triangular platform, the pyramid is positioned at the end of a long curved path stretching from the car park to the highest point of the peninsula. Seen first as a narrow vertical stack among tree trunks, one can only glimpse the loch through the long tunnel that marks the entrance of the viewpoint.
The single-storey tunnel that is as narrow as the path leading from one vertex of the triangle to its base with views of the loch, disguises the scale of the project. Only after having passed through its entrance and then looking back into the triangle, the viewpoint manifests itself as a steep rising platform that is accessed by steps going up and around the perimeter of the form.
Benches blend between the steps, creating the central core. As the structure rises, the exposed benches mimic the seating arrangements of an arena.
Externally, the viewpoint creates a distinctive point of attraction. With a strong visual impact, the viewpoint embraces the vast drama of the landscape.
The use of one singular material strengthens the sculptural character of the project. The walls, horizontal steps and benches are finished with vertical timber rain screen, giving it a bold appearance that contrasts and compliments the various greens of its natural surroundings.
A cleverly selected and executed project that not only allows the public to experience the surrounding landscape as a panoramic view, but also the site itself, visible from afar, appears as a rock amidst water.