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Flood-proof Pitlochry hotel proposed

April 14 2020

Flood-proof Pitlochry hotel proposed

Riverstone Developments with Axiom Architects have come forward with plans to build a 105-bedroom hotel on a site originally earmarked for a supermarket at Bridge Road, Pitlochry.

Occupying open space just outwith the towns conservation area opposite a sewage treatment works the site overlooks the River Tummel, offering unobstructed vistas but necessitating flood mitigation measures by raising the floor slab above the flood plain.

This would see the hotel built on a raised column podium and 106-space car park, reached by an access ramp, allowing water to flow up unobstructed from the river during flood events. Raised sandstone clad planters are included around the podium perimeter to soften its appearance.

Costed at £10m the project will include a restaurant and outdoor seating area and has been pre-let to Premier Inn.

The L-plan design features Angus natural sandstone slip detailing to the ground floor gable ends and between vertical windows, with the bulk of the façade finished in Forticrete cast stone and render.


#1 Posted by mick on 14 Apr 2020 at 14:44 PM
Amazingly this proposal clearly draws inspiration from the nearby sewage works.
Why Urban Realm do you stoop so low as to report on such pathetic efforts.
#2 Posted by Seerightthroughyou on 14 Apr 2020 at 18:50 PM
Pitlochry is an undeniably beautiful and relatively 'unspoilt' place - a destination for a lot of us that live in Dundee and Angus. It has a rich and specific context, both architecturally and culturally. Axiom is a London-centric firm based entirely south of the border, I would guess that with the exception of one rushed recce by a disgruntled senior associate they have never even visited. These proposals are comprehensively ignorant of the existing building stock, materiality, massing, scale and obviously the immediate surroundings. This perhaps goes some way to explain why it has the appearance of a middling Milton Keynes PremierInn which has been badly extended at a later date, then subsequently towed through a B&Q on it's bumpy journey up here. Deposited in the same way some leave a poorly positioned turd in the motorway services toilet and hope that they will be miles away before anyone questions the identity (and morality) of it's creator. I cannot see any redeemable feature or aspect to this scheme, it's clear the practice has seen this as a low profile 'as and when that Part 2 and the other lad who I can't remember are free' project. If it was designed by an experienced architect, Axiom, I would suggest that he or she would be better placed in the indescriminate out of town shed team, or better still - the 'indefinate furlough' depository. The absolute shame here is that there are a great number of talented architects in the local area who would have grasped this brief and produced something appropriate, innovative and of a quality that attributed to the high quality setting. Didn't have the budget? Yes, you did - you just didn't budget any time, light research or creativity. Just FYI, light coloured render doesn't work anywhere north of Liverpool either, particularly on a North facing facade next to large mature trees. This looks like all we are trying to demolish at the moment. Axiom, please for all our sakes leave your expensive excrement south of the border in future. You might have a big contract with PremierInn but that doen't give you the right to do this, and this is why such companies should employ regional architects. I'll be providing a 'professional opinion' version of my comments to PKC.
Nairn's Bairn
#3 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 15 Apr 2020 at 09:07 AM
This is actually a beautiful site, despite the sewage works proximity. The open space between road and river makes a welcoming southern approach to Pitlochry. The outlook from the hotel will be lovely, it's a shame the same can't be said for the view towards it.

I'm sure the Premier Inn model has tight margins, but surely one could put the same amount of building materials to use in a more interesting form that makes some sort of acknowledgement of location? There must be some business advantage having an attractive hotel. Or is it, like a lot of Premier Inns, simply a convenient dot on the sales rep's tour of Scotland, cheap & cheerful therefore nobody cares what it looks like?
#4 Posted by mick on 15 Apr 2020 at 12:29 PM
#2Seerightthroughyou has stated the truth concerning this pathetic effort. It really is an miserable cynical attempt. Urban Realm it is time that you refuse to ever mention such low hanging examples.
Urban Realm
#5 Posted by Urban Realm on 15 Apr 2020 at 13:36 PM
It is important that Urban Realm covers the built environment in its broadest sense without self-selecting for perceived worth, to do otherwise would fail to accurately represent the urban realm.

Urban Realm is about far more than raw news reports however and we regularly feature curated new buildings, reviews and awards to promote the best new work and raise the bar more generally.
#6 Posted by mick on 15 Apr 2020 at 20:15 PM
#5 Urban Realm I note your comment however surely is it not your responsibility to define where architecture emerges from the countrywide plethora of totally miserable efforts. All buildings are not architecture and it is architecture that informs the urban realm never crap buildings.
#7 Posted by Stylecouncil on 16 Apr 2020 at 08:52 AM
#5 disagree. UR appears to most as a ‘planning news’ forum, featuring any old project that you can hook a tiresome punned title too.
Agree with Mick entirely....less is more perhaps. More ‘curated’ projects, whatever that means...?
Nairn's Bairn
#8 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 16 Apr 2020 at 08:52 AM
#6 - I think UR's post at #5 says it all, they choose not to be an arbiter of what is 'good' and 'bad' (there are plenty of other architectural websites that do that).

One of the notable features of UR is it shows a variety of buildings, many of which may not win architectural awards but are interesting due to their location, size, or use. It shows the reality of architects output in Scotland, good and bad. An example of what not to do can be as useful as an aspirational project.

These articles do appear under a 'News' heading rather than 'Great Architecture', after all.
John Glenday
#9 Posted by John Glenday on 16 Apr 2020 at 09:40 AM
I’d add that the planning stage affords the only window to make representations to improve a scheme. Coverage after the fact presents no such opportunity.
Fush And Chips
#10 Posted by Fush And Chips on 16 Apr 2020 at 13:04 PM
#2 I am in total agreeance, and your post also made me laugh. So thanks for that.

It is truly abysmal, but as others have said: forewarned is forearmed. Better to have this reported so that people can make their objections in good time.

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