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Inverness College students design Skye airfield terminal

January 15 2014

Inverness College students design Skye airfield terminal
A group of architectural technology students at Inverness College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, have published designs for a speculative airport terminal and hangar at Skye’s Ashaig Airfield.

The brief, part of the students honours degree, called for creation of a 900sq/m terminal building and maintenance hangar as well as road links, parking and landscaping.

Ian Blackford of FlySkye said: “There is a strong and irrefutable case for the development of air services from Skye and this project is an important step forward in our campaign by being able to show graphically how the airport might look with appropriate financial support from The Scottish Government and other agencies.”

Conceived as part of a bid to resume commercial flights to the island, grounded back in the late 1980s, it dovetails with moves by local campaign group Fly Skye to convince the Civil Aviation Authority and Scottish Government to provide capital funding and subsidies.
The designs have been drawn up to full planning and building warrant standard
The designs have been drawn up to full planning and building warrant standard
The Scottish Government has no plans to back a resumption of flights to Skye
The Scottish Government has no plans to back a resumption of flights to Skye


#1 Posted by Biggles on 15 Jan 2014 at 14:47 PM
Good effort Highland students. It appears to be a well considered response to context. good luck!

Pity the same cant be said for Edinburgh Airports latest proposals.
shiny beast
#2 Posted by shiny beast on 15 Jan 2014 at 15:41 PM
on-going maintenance issues with those valley gutters. First bit of serious snow and there'll be internal waterfalls as a response to the context............
#3 Posted by CadMonkey on 16 Jan 2014 at 00:50 AM
I think you will find these are Architectural Technology students not "architecture" students. Big difference!
spot the difference?
#4 Posted by spot the difference? on 16 Jan 2014 at 09:43 AM
Sadly, cadmonkey, it seams the technology students arn't learning about detailing, or access/building regs either going by the renders (ramp with no handrails going to unnecessarily raised floor and miraculously secret detailing at eaves/gables) - so it could well be a 1st year architectural students scheme...
I can't decide if this training will leave them poorly suited to the market (trying to be poor architects rather than good technicians) or well suited, in that they'll be used to being exploited on speculative schemes for political purposes....
#5 Posted by Bodhisattva on 16 Jan 2014 at 12:06 PM
Fair-play to SkyeFly as they needed some images to help their campaign and they didn’t resort to an abusive ARB registered, architects only competition, like Rural Housing Scotland did in their ‘Our Island Home’ competition.

Who can complain about the quality of architectural design in Scotland, never mind the recent ‘mini boom’ in Aberdeen, when the UHI (and others) are happy to teach “Advanced Professional Practice (Architecture)” to wannabe architects?


Seems like this is an example of encouragement for ‘it’s OK for anyone to design a building in Scotland’ no matter whether your an Interior Architect, Surveyor or Engineer of any persuasion, Architectural Technician, Building Control Officer, Planner, you name it. Just don’t call yourself an Architect!

In Scotland, is it time to debate:-
1. Pre/Post Referendum Protection of title (Architect), who would be the Scottish ARB?
2. Protection of Function? - background references:-

3. Accreditation of Schools of Architecture in Scotland

Meanwhile, the RIAS sits on its hands........
Paul Mycrackin
#6 Posted by Paul Mycrackin on 16 Jan 2014 at 12:35 PM
Glad to see a college submission being recognised by Urban Realm
wee detail
#7 Posted by wee detail on 16 Jan 2014 at 12:51 PM
Thanks for comments. The project is only at early stage and moving to technical stages. The above is concept. Check back in June 14 when the project is completed.
Here before CAD
#8 Posted by Here before CAD on 16 Jan 2014 at 14:41 PM
It seams (sic) ‘spot the difference’ and ‘Bodhisattva’s’ comments are showing elements of elitism and I was somewhat concerned to read about the ‘abusive ARB registered’ architects who entered the ‘Our Island Home’ competition – I trust they didn’t fall out with each other too much during the competition.
I would suggest if we were all to ‘critically and technically appraise’ all the artists impressions / digital renders for multiple projects over the past years, they probably would not be used by the profession in the future!
After 50 years in the profession I have had the privilege to work with literally hundreds of professionals in the construction industry on both large and smaller projects, and as, in all walks of life, there were examples of good and poor professionals in every sphere.
We have to be aware that the industry / regulations / construction practices etc. are currently changing at an unprecedented rate of knots, and that is the reality – watch this space.
Remember guys the best criticism is always constructive!
spot the difference?
#9 Posted by spot the difference? on 16 Jan 2014 at 14:46 PM
wee detail - the concept needs to be informed by the buildability or you'll end up either trying to solve impossible problems or mucking up the concept. This design would look very different with a roof form that'll manage local weather conditions and a lowered floor level - alternately slapping handrails and robust detailing on at the detail phase will impact the concept just as surely... but this being an 'advanced' course they'll know all that....
Art Vandelay
#10 Posted by Art Vandelay on 16 Jan 2014 at 16:46 PM
Jeezo. I don't think we can read too much into the success (or not) of the design based on three renders. I'm not familiar with many schemes that are modelled 100% accurately.

The elitist comments mentioned above are pretty unnecessary to be honest, but then, I'm sure we'd all love to be as perfect as those commentators.
#11 Posted by DEE-TAIL on 16 Jan 2014 at 18:42 PM
The reality is when you're designing any type of airport building the technical requirements are to make buildings beyond robust and bomb-proof which filters out (mostly) the neat detailing and slick architecture - unless of course you are Foster or Rodgers ... in which case you can do what you want. Nice buildings + Nice Ideas ... Might get approved ... probably won't :-(
#12 Posted by Cadmonkey on 17 Jan 2014 at 01:08 AM
I am not being elitist. I am merely correcting the text in the news article. This is not the work of 'architects'.
#13 Posted by oldtimerarchie on 17 Jan 2014 at 08:43 AM
Great to see and think a few folk are worried which is great - generates debate in our industry. Architecture has been needing a shake up for so long. I have taken on a few students from this college in my time and also recently I have found them to be on the money in terms of skills and normally I can use them straight out the box. Well done for this and keep up the good work. It is interesting though the Technologist is a different beast to the Architect (I would offer that the Technologist is possibly more skilled for the 21st century way forward? RIBA take note and take these guys into the fold somehow?) and we should be embracing that as an industry hence I do agree with Here before CAD's comments.
In short great project, good design direction and hope to see it on Skye soon.
Art Vandelay
#14 Posted by Art Vandelay on 17 Jan 2014 at 10:51 AM
Well said #13.

Cadmonkey - where does it refer to architects in the original article (unless it's already been edited, of course).

Sadly the architectural profession is far too precious about itself, too often.
Here before CAD
#15 Posted by Here before CAD on 17 Jan 2014 at 10:53 AM
Maybe it's my age (eyes) but I can't see the word architect used in the text perhaps Cadmonkey can highlight it for us poor oldtimers.
#16 Posted by urbanrealm on 17 Jan 2014 at 11:25 AM
I've amended the erroneous use of the term architect (thanks Cadmonkey).
#17 Posted by Cadmonkey on 17 Jan 2014 at 13:29 PM
The article has now been edited, thank you. I'm not seeking a debate on the future of the profession. I simply seek articles in Urban Realm to be factually correct. I should not have to play the role of Editor.

And Art....the problem is that the profession is not precious about itself enough...surely you realise that, or do you not value your 7 years of study? (assuming you are a qualified architect as you are referring to "the profession".)
#18 Posted by Bodhisattva on 17 Jan 2014 at 13:35 PM
@ Here before CAD, given your advocacy for constructive criticism I will take your ‘elitism’ comment in a positive light and move on.

I am interested in a debate about the state of Scottish Architecture, the Architectural Profession and the broader Construction Industry, not this specific student project in Skye.

My comments were meant to be deliberately provocative so as to engender debate and follow-through on the previous comments I made on the OHI competition where I raised this FlySkye proposal as an example of a more interesting and potentially valuable project/competition than the well trodden typology of affordable housing.

With your extensive experience, I would be interested to hear whether you believe the Architectural Profession is in decline, or not, or does it matter?

@ UR, It seems unfair to continue this debate on the back of this student project, can it be moved to your, as yet, inactive Blogs>Soapbox?
#19 Posted by Robert on 17 Jan 2014 at 13:53 PM
Considering that the students have presumably not had a particularly comprehensive architectural design training this is is actually not bad.
#20 Posted by CADMonkey on 17 Jan 2014 at 15:57 PM
I see no point in discussing the future of Scottish Architecture until the outcome of the Independence Referendum is known. Otherwise we will be just wasting huge amount of time and waffle. Drawing a parallel, this is exactly why Westminster is correct in refusing to negotiate terms of Independence. One thing is for certain - don't believe the will cost us Scots a lot of lucre....pensions/ARB/BBC/Driving Licenses/Passports/having to use the Euro/rejoining the EU/Dog Licenses/no more Guy Fawkes Night/you name it...its all gotta change...for some mindless childish belief that we are better off alone without those nasty English people...c'mon grow up.
Ian Nairn
#21 Posted by Ian Nairn on 17 Jan 2014 at 16:56 PM
@ Cadmonkey 7 years of study? I'm impressed. Most of my colleagues spent 5 years in the students union bar and two years making tea & drawing door schedules. Which is why they now turn out things like the Inverness Glebe St Hotel...
Art Vandelay
#22 Posted by Art Vandelay on 17 Jan 2014 at 17:56 PM
@cadmonkey - 8 years actually, I was a late developer. And of course I value it. However, a slight typo in an online article is hardly worth getting particularly worked up about. It's not really at the crux of the 'protection of title' concept, is it?

Some of your comments come across as a tad pompous, and I think that's what I was referring to with my previous statement. And as for your comments about independence, can you point how what relevance that has to the scheme being reported on?

As I said before, it's hard to judge from three renders, but it doesn't automatically make me throw my hands up in horror at the state of architecture/architectural education in Scotland today.

I'll stop now, seeing as it's Friday.
#23 Posted by CADMonkey on 20 Jan 2014 at 10:48 AM
The slow erosion of the title is caused by letting small indiscretions like this pass unchallenged. Show no mercy.
#24 Posted by MADCunkey on 20 Jan 2014 at 11:14 AM
CADmonkey, good to see you maintaining your duties are per the Architect's Registrar: Scotland & England
Art Vandelay
#25 Posted by Art Vandelay on 20 Jan 2014 at 12:17 PM

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