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Architectural design contest launched for Scenic Routes final phase

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July 31 2015

Architectural design contest launched for Scenic Routes final phase
An architectural design competition has been launched inviting young architects within five years of completing RIBA Part II or landscape architects within five years of attaining graduate status to design one of three new installations.

This will constitute the final phase of the Scenic Routes programme and encompasses three roadside sites; one site to the north of Fort William and two others within the Cairngorms National Park.

Entrants will be invited to draw up conceptual plans for demonstration projects at these locales utilising innovative design and construction techniques to bolster tourism.

Shortlisted entrants will then be invited to participate in a second stage in which the designs will be developed in greater detail to ensure they are buildable within the available budget.

Previous winner Ruaridh Campbell Moir, who designed a viewpoint overlooking Loch Lubnaig, said: “A combination of the harsh economic climate, fewer potential commissions and an unbuilt portfolio of works all but slams the door shut on many young    architects and landscape architects.

“As competitions go, it (Scottish Scenic Routes) has been very inclusive and also fair to the entrants by recognising the time and resources required by designers in order to produce a submission.”

A full brief and conditions will be published on Monday 10 August by the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre.

All three structures will be completed by March 2016.

3 Comments

Dave
#1 Posted by Dave on 3 Aug 2015 at 10:15 AM
I understand that the three sites mentioned above will be the same three sites that the judges decided not to award a commission to in the second round of competitions (ie. Devils Elbow, Glenshee; Tomintoul, and Banavie).

Whislt I appreciate the judges right not to pick a winner on the second round, it nonetheless seems quite lazy on the part of the organisers to recycle the previous sites. Hopefully they have realised the allocated budgets from the previous round was far too low to achieve the aspirations and have revised it. If not, it must be quite annoying for people who spent a considerable amount of their own time and expense to then find out they need to resubmit their previous proposals.
Peter Wilson
#2 Posted by Peter Wilson on 7 Aug 2015 at 12:32 PM
Dave -
Hopefully I can clarify this for you - only one of the sites is the same (Devil's Elbow). Whilst Banavie was a location for one of the second round competitions, the actual site then is different from the one(s) being put forward this time around. Far from being a lazy option,there is actually quite a lot of work involved in identifying sites on routes that have been agreed upon as part of a larger, longer term strategy, gaining input and approvals from owners and other agencies and securing funding sufficient to build the selected projects. As regards budgets, there is what there is and it is the responsibility of every designer to accept that as a reality and work within the sums stated. The organisers chose not to proceed with the two second round sites at Banavie and the Devil's Elbow for the very good reason that, unfortunately, few of the proposals submitted for each paid sufficient cognisance to this fact. To be clear, the Scottish Scenic Routes initiative was not conceived to deliver projects at any price - it is intended as a long term initiative in which a series of relatively small projects can, cumulatively, contribute substantially to Scotland's tourism infrastructure as well as maximising opportunities for talented young designers to see their projects built. This time around the briefs are more specific as to what is required, meaning that none of the three competitions is the same as before and therefore resubmission of previous proposals is not what is being called for.
This all may sound critical of your comment, but in any architectural competition the onus is on designers to comply with the rules and budgets given. The Scottish Scenic Routes initiative is deliberately pitched at recently qualified architects and landscape architects for whom the opportunity is there to demonstrate their talent. I am not aware of any similar opportunities available to this group and the objective is to give entrants experience and the chance to see something built to their design early in their careers.
As regards your concluding point - the competition briefs set at each stage of the Scottish Scenic Routes initiative have been absolutely consistent in their requirement for a minimum amount of submitted information precisely to avoid entrants expending considerable time and money on their initial entries. So, my final observation is: read the brief(s) carefully, come up with an appropriate response to what is actually being asked for, stick to the budget and submit on time and who knows - you could well be successful!
Stephen
#3 Posted by Stephen on 11 Aug 2015 at 13:29 PM
Such a shame this competition isn't open to all, including experienced architects (if we have to accept making architectural design being given away free of charge). Surely it's more important that the finished project is the best possible than that an inexperienced designer gets to cut their teeth? A decent young talent will find their way no matter what (most of the previous winners worked at well known practices without the need for our scarce funding) but the already completed schemes are not really very good in my eyes. Norway and Chile have done this idea brilliantly. Scotland is doing it cheaply and badly.

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