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Devil’s Elbow & Tomintoul Scenic Routes winners chosen

October 5 2015

Devil’s Elbow & Tomintoul Scenic Routes winners chosen
Winning entries for the third round of design competitions to be held under the Scottish Scenic Routes initiative have been selected for two key sites within the Cairngorms National Park.

This saw Daniel Smith and Philip Zoechbauer emerge victorious for the Devil’s Elbow with their ‘Connecting Contours’ entry. Over at Tomintoul meanwhile Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler (Processcraft) secured victory with ‘A Language of Stone’.

A third competition site at Banavie went without a winner after judges deemed that the three shortlisted submissions were ‘insufficiently robust’ to meet the design challenges presented by Scotland’s longest flight of canal lock gates.

Helena Huws, architect at Scottish Canals, commented: “While on this occasion no winner was declared for Banavie, Scottish Canals is committed to continuing to work with the local community, our partners, and the Scottish Scenic Routes initiative to create a landmark that celebrates the unique character of the area and encourages even more people to explore the many wonders of the canal network.”

Brian Wood, deputy convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) added: “Once constructed these, together with the installation at Corgaff scheduled to be in place in November, will give us an outstanding scenic route along the eastern side of the Cairngorms National Park, from Glenshee to Grantown-on-Spey.”

Both projects will be built by Spring 2016.
Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler (Processcraft) won out with this submission for Tomintoul
Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler (Processcraft) won out with this submission for Tomintoul
Daniel Smith and Philip Zoechbauer saw off three other shortlisted entries at devil's Elbow
Daniel Smith and Philip Zoechbauer saw off three other shortlisted entries at devil's Elbow


#1 Posted by Dave on 5 Oct 2015 at 13:12 PM
Well done to the winners. However, is this not the second time that Banavie has been offered as a site and had no proposal selected? This happened last year also with the Glenshee site. I accept that if there are no proposals good enough to make the cut then they shouldn't go ahead, but at the same time the organisers are asking people to put in a lot of their time and don't show much respect in return...
random user
#2 Posted by random user on 5 Oct 2015 at 16:07 PM
Aurlandsfjellet lookout by LJB architect. Hmmm...
Ruairidh Moir
#3 Posted by Ruairidh Moir on 5 Oct 2015 at 16:33 PM
More information on the BARD shortlisted proposal for Devil's Elbow can be found here, for anyone interested:
#4 Posted by CockytheCrow on 5 Oct 2015 at 17:04 PM
More information on Daniel Smith and Philip Zoechbauer shortlisted proposal for Devil's Elbow can be found here, for anyone interested:
Sceptic tank
#5 Posted by Sceptic tank on 5 Oct 2015 at 17:18 PM
I am afraid to say with the first one (the ugly gabions) all i can do is smell the faecal and uretic deposits; something akin to the experience of using a Gilbert Scott phone box, if you recall.

Regarding the other two designs mentioned, it begs the obvious question, why can't architects just leave something that is inherently beautiful alone?

I would have to purposefully avoid such a place, as i really don't want some architect design messing with my head and effectively telling me that what i am experiencing is beautiful, as if to say, 'here sit here, and appreciate this.'

I am sorry to be negative, but this is so not happening. Not ever.
#6 Posted by CadMonkey on 5 Oct 2015 at 18:21 PM
The scattering of random way marking cairns on our hills is bad enough. But I am dead against building follies in our landscape especially when public money is used.
How can this kind of thing be justified in this age of austerity when "food banks" exist?
Keep our landscape natural with no pavements please.
#7 Posted by Cadmonkey on 6 Oct 2015 at 00:02 AM
UR Please clarify.
Is this being funded from public coffers?
#8 Posted by RJB on 6 Oct 2015 at 09:15 AM
Hope the Tomintoul is one of those project that look better in real life. The visuals shown aren't really selling it at all - Where's the view to the landscape!
The Shamer
#9 Posted by The Shamer on 6 Oct 2015 at 09:59 AM
Someone needs to have another look at the Devil's elbow entry....


#10 Posted by qmd on 6 Oct 2015 at 11:57 AM
If one read the competition briefs, you will notice that the whole competition is 'inspired' by the Norway Tourist Routes project. 'Examples' were given for participants to 'take reference' from in each specific sites. I believe that there is no creativity talking here, just clients wanting the young architects to 'do the job'.
Art Vandelay
#11 Posted by Art Vandelay on 6 Oct 2015 at 12:44 PM

Does it still count as a precedent study if it's a direct rip-off?
#12 Posted by UR on 6 Oct 2015 at 13:27 PM
@Cadmonkey - The Scottish Government contributed £500k to this phase of the initiative.
#13 Posted by Gringo on 6 Oct 2015 at 13:27 PM
Surely in light of the links above the Devil's Elbow entry should be be honest I'd bin the other one too- it's a stinker...
#14 Posted by Jim on 6 Oct 2015 at 13:31 PM

#15 Posted by K on 6 Oct 2015 at 13:39 PM
The Devil's Elbow 'designers' should be ashamed of themselves.

I was prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they hadn't stumbled across this example and instead had come up with an ingenious design on their own.

The fact that they were provided the exact example that they ripped off as 'inspiration' beggars belief.

....and they we're selected as 'winners'!

Poor stuff.
#16 Posted by Ben on 6 Oct 2015 at 14:27 PM
Is this a student competition?

If these are fully qualified architects then I want the ARB to know about this.

Grounds for erasure?
#17 Posted by Cadmonkey on 6 Oct 2015 at 15:55 PM
The Scottish Government has funded this with half a million pounds!
Half a million pounds?
To fund "this stage" of an ageist competition for a set of follies in Scotland's this age of so called "austerity"!!!!
How much will the next "stage" cost us?
I wonder how much of this went on fees for the architects to press the green button on the photocopier?
This project needs to be aborted.
Thanks for finding this our Urban Realm.
Devil's Knee
#18 Posted by Devil's Knee on 6 Oct 2015 at 16:15 PM
OK – let’s all take a step back here before the lynch mob descends. This is not the first time design has happened to look the same as something else. The two schemes aren’t exactly the same, the bench is different and the concrete appears to have an etching and looks to be made up of precast panels. The Norwegian one is clearly longer and leads to a strange bunker thing. The Devil’s Elbow scheme may be similar, but frankly the Norwegian site is pretty much the same as the Devil’s Elbow – how many different ways can there be to install a lookout at a lay-by that provides seating, landscaping, information points and is low maintenance.

This is not the end of the world, and frankly I’m glad the competition judges chose this scheme over some randomly shaped object/pavilion/jewellery box that would ruin the nice view and probably end up at the bottom of the valley after the first winter storm.
Bandwagon Jumper
#19 Posted by Bandwagon Jumper on 6 Oct 2015 at 16:48 PM
How do I get on?
Art Vandelay
#20 Posted by Art Vandelay on 6 Oct 2015 at 17:57 PM
I don't agree at all.

There is no point in a competition like this if it's won by a scheme that is almost a direct copy of something else. Where's the ingenuity or competency in that? Even the renders look similar.

You're right in that it's not the first time this has happened, but doesn't make it any more acceptable.
Devil's Arthritic Joints
#21 Posted by Devil's Arthritic Joints on 6 Oct 2015 at 18:18 PM
Throw the book at them.

(and not one which they can copy from)
#22 Posted by MvK on 6 Oct 2015 at 19:46 PM
I for one would like to congratulate both teams on their competition winning entries.

Why are people so quick to berrate the success of others? Do you honestly think these guys would copy the work of another, and so blatantly? Let's not forget that they had to present (and argue) with more than 1 image with a vague similarity to another project. (Let's face it - we could find similarities with many projects if our blood lust led us to do so).

Well done to these young architects, I look forward to project updates and following your progress.

Shame on the rest of you.
Art Vandelay
#23 Posted by Art Vandelay on 6 Oct 2015 at 21:29 PM
Shame? Yes, it is, isn't it?

I'd be singing their praises to the heavens if they'd won it with a truly original scheme, except they haven't.

Pretty much every job has elements which are paraphrased from elsewhere, but this is all too much.
#24 Posted by Beavis on 6 Oct 2015 at 23:58 PM
found a crackin wee precedent to rip-off for the next SSR... I present you: THE EGG

Charles Laughton
#25 Posted by Charles Laughton on 7 Oct 2015 at 10:57 AM
Bligh: 'Boatswain, spread-eagle that liar to the rigging till sundown!'
Christian: i say old chap, that's a tad harsh n'est'ce pas?
Lionel Rich Tea
#26 Posted by Lionel Rich Tea on 7 Oct 2015 at 10:58 AM
I'm beginning to think these students don't actually exist and that this was an experiment in whipping up a lynch mob.....

Well it worked! I want them flogged and stripped of all titles. I want ARB memberships torn up.
#27 Posted by Stephen on 7 Oct 2015 at 14:21 PM
scenic routes is a joke. Thousands of pounds to help a handful of the same people over and over again. None of whom actually need help. What scotland (and tax payers) deserve is the best possible built environment. This comp should always have been open to all architects. It's currently just a cheap copy of great schemes in Norway and chile.
#28 Posted by George_Glasgow on 13 Oct 2015 at 12:12 PM
The winning entries only highlight the lack of originality in producing a thoughtful scheme without the frankly ridiculous and lazy referencing to precedents (I refer to the 'paralells' to LJB Architecture's scheme). Shame on the jury for being weak in their selection of the winners. The most obvious thing here is just how naive these young architects are in thinking it is acceptable to copy and paste and get away with it. Why should the budget be used for immitation Architecture? I hope this doesn't go through. I wonder will there ever be a day in Scottish Architecture where architectural competitions can be respected and respectful to the industry.
Frank Lloyd Wrong
#29 Posted by Frank Lloyd Wrong on 18 Oct 2015 at 21:50 PM

Reopen the investigation.
#30 Posted by Dave on 21 Oct 2015 at 01:07 AM
seen better entries for this year's competition, not even shortlisted, shame.
#31 Posted by Archi-not on 21 Oct 2015 at 13:20 PM
I despair.

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