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BTE Architecture showcase Inveruglas Pyramid viewpoint

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January 22 2016

BTE Architecture showcase Inveruglas Pyramid viewpoint
BTE Architecture has showcased a £193k Pyramid viewpoint on a peninsula overlooking Loch Lomond at Inveruglas, built as part of the Scottish government’s Scenic Routes initiative.

Accessed by a series of paths from the A82 the timber viewpoint takes the form of a triangular platform, glimpsed as a ‘narrow vertical stack’ upon approach from inland, with the loch barely visible through a hollowed out passageway.

Only upon passage through this space does the scale of the structure become evident with a series of stepped platforms rising up and around to maximise views.

In a statement BTE observed: “Externally the viewpoint creates a distinctive point of attraction. With a strong visual impact it embraces the vast drama of the landscape which wants to be experienced in such an exposed location. The inviting gesture of the beacon attracts visitors from a distance, to explore an alternative view, a pause in their journey on this scenic seat.

Both walls and the horizontal steps and benches are finished with a vertical timber rain screen. Its bold appearance contrasts and complements the various greens of its natural surroundings and the usable inside of the structure invites the visitor to have a seat on a warm material, that wants to be touched.”

Photography by Andrew Lee
David Narro structural engineers assisted with the project alongside Land Engineering
David Narro structural engineers assisted with the project alongside Land Engineering
The structure was completed back in May
The structure was completed back in May

Visitors can alos arrive at the viewpoint by boat via a handy jetty
Visitors can alos arrive at the viewpoint by boat via a handy jetty


clare darlaston
#1 Posted by clare darlaston on 25 Jan 2016 at 15:06 PM
a gross and insensitive intrusion on an internationally famous landscape (CMLI)
#2 Posted by Prisonfinger on 25 Jan 2016 at 17:08 PM
There's a huge power station behind it. It's hardly an untouched, pristine landscape.

I like it. It's a delightful structure.
#3 Posted by Robert on 25 Jan 2016 at 18:15 PM
A considered and relatively engaging form that maintains a strong presence in the landscape. I think this is a good outcome.
#4 Posted by RJB on 25 Jan 2016 at 18:48 PM
It looks very nice, though I can't help thinking £193k is rather a lot of money for it.
#5 Posted by Costs on 26 Jan 2016 at 14:02 PM
First off, I think the general principle of the Scottish Scenic Routes is good. Having visited several of the Norwegian precedents, I’ve seen how successful they can be at complementing the incredible existing landscapes. What has frustrated me from the outset with the Scottish version is the approach that was taken to cost in the competition process. This article just reinforces the point that the original budgets were completely unrealistic and calls into question how the various entries were judged, considering that all the built results were delivered significantly over budget despite outline costings being part of the original competition requirements:

Inveruglas - Construction budget within original competition brief: £125k. Actual cost £192k

Falls of Falloch – Construction budget within original brief: £50k. Actual cost £90k

Lubnaig Beag – Construction budget within original brief: £25k. Tendered prices £66k-£108k

How many better, more sympathetic, inspirational designs were discounted at the competition stage because they were judged not to be deliverable to those initial and unrealistic budgets? Was it fair to require young landscape architects/architects to try and provide costings for what were always going to be entirely unique structures/constructions?

I see that the latest round of briefs still have small budgets (all at £60k each). If we’re ever to deliver something as striking and unique as the Stegastien Aurland lookout (, we need to be funding these interventions properly. That lookout was over 2.75M euros in 2006 (over 3M euros today). What can we honestly expect for the sums that are being set aside for our own version? Time to be bold.
#6 Posted by Cadmonkey on 26 Jan 2016 at 15:38 PM
Is the blame not with the client who should have had a QS on the judging panel?
Rather pathetic that there wasn't if costs were a factor in selecting a winner.

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