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‘Hideous’ Ben Lawers visitor centre demolished

August 6 2012

‘Hideous’ Ben Lawers visitor centre demolished
Work to demolish Ben Lawers Visitor Centre, described as a ‘hideous beast’ by The Courier, has been completed by the National Trust for Scotland ahead of the reopening of Ben Lawers Nature Reserve tomorrow.

The centre, built in 1972, was located on the slopes of Scotland’s 10th tallest mountain to raise awareness of protected rare plants which grew in the vicinity.

Detractors contended that its mere presence endangered this pristine landscape as hordes of tourists tramped their way through to make use of its toilets and a cafeteria.

Replacing the centre will be a series of information boards designed to ensure visitors continue to be informed about their surroundings.

Additional work to preserve the mountain landscape includes the construction of new fencing, pathways and a relocation of the car park.

Ben Lawers property manager Helen Cole said: “We have access to the hills at all times and that is part of the founding remit the trust – access and conservation.

“There are potential conflicts between access and conservation. The majority of visitors are hillwalkers and most of them stick to the main routes to bag their summits."


#1 Posted by David on 6 Aug 2012 at 17:27 PM
Take away the angled bit and I quite like it actually!
Mary Hill
#2 Posted by Mary Hill on 6 Aug 2012 at 19:24 PM
Seen a lot worse from 40 years ago.
Not sure The Courier are who I'd aspire to as architectural critics
#3 Posted by dirige on 7 Aug 2012 at 08:49 AM
I always thought it looked ok from the outside at least, it was always closed when I was up there.
decimus 1
#4 Posted by decimus 1 on 7 Aug 2012 at 14:46 PM
Agreed its not hideous. 40 years ago visitor centres were usually flat roofed white rendered blockwork, black timber and softwood windows. Just imagine what it 'might have been' like...
David Lawson
#5 Posted by David Lawson on 7 Aug 2012 at 16:03 PM
Designed by Richard & Betty Moira - I did my year out with them in 74-75 and it was complete by then from recollection. Moiras were one of the best practices in Edinburgh at the time. It was certainly not hideous.
Val Goodenough
#6 Posted by Val Goodenough on 22 Aug 2016 at 13:29 PM
Very sorry to read this as we have not visited the area for 9 years and were looking forward to visiting in September to learn more by watching videos, etc., as we are now unable to "walk the mountains". We certainly did not regard the building as hideous - beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Far Corfe
#7 Posted by Far Corfe on 28 Dec 2016 at 19:13 PM
If you demolished this building and its facilities in 2012 then why does your web site (28 Dec 2016) continue to have a dropdown with cafe and facilities as an option?
#8 Posted by Jon on 30 Dec 2016 at 08:48 AM
Always quite liked this building and it fitted in well. Much better than some of the generic rubbish that gets built now
Jane Findlay
#9 Posted by Jane Findlay on 5 Nov 2017 at 19:15 PM
Slept in the centre for 2 nights in about 1998 when volunteering for Lothian Conservation Volunteers (LCV). We did footpath work over a weekend and visited the local pub/hotel on the Saturday night :)
#10 Posted by GTI on 29 Jan 2018 at 17:58 PM
This was a good, fine looking, modern building. I must have visited quite near the end of its active life but it had information boards inside, dioramas and a small shop. It did a good job of explaining all the wild flowers you would see on the ground nearby. I wish there were more interesting buildings in the hills and wild places.
Old Chitterlings
#11 Posted by Old Chitterlings on 29 Sep 2023 at 19:43 PM
Visited the delightful visitor centre in 1976 during honeymoon and bought souvenir postcards of alpine plants, which we framed. Went back last year to buy replacements as originals had faded. Where oh where can we now get them?

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