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George Watt + Stewart Architects wins Lochside viewpoint contest

Aberdeen’s George Watt + Stewart Architects has won the contest to design a £30,000 viewing platform at Larbert Loch, near Falkirk for the Forth Valley Royal Hospital

The practice beat Jamie Hamilton Architect, A449, Cameron Webster Architects with Makar and John Downie Architectural Design in the competition aimed at small Scottish practices.

The victorious scheme, with its steeply angled portal frame, was praised by the judges for its references to a former boathouse which once sat on the site and for the ‘considerable attention given to access details and issues of maintenance, repair and replacement of components’.

The competition attracted a total of 31 entries. See images of the shortlisted schemes.


The judges full verdict on the winning scheme

George Watt + Stewart Architects' competition-winning Larbert Loch viewing platform scheme near Falkirk

George Watt + Stewart Architects’ competition-winning Larbert Loch viewing platform scheme near Falkirk

With its steeply angled portal frame enclosing structure, which references historic former use and is positioned on the foundations of the old boathouse, the design cleverly draws the user along the path into a position where attention is focused on Larbert church tower nearby. The structure is not intended to provide shelter and the ‘eroding’ nature of the timber platform as it reaches out over the water makes clear to the user that he/she should not proceed beyond a certain point. This implicit rather than overt approach to spectator security is also addressed by the permeable wall and ‘roof’ structure through which people can be seen on the platform itself. Considerable attention has been given to access details as well as issues of maintenance, repair and replacement of components. The judging panel thought that the form and scale of the structure, were entirely appropriate to the context of the Loch edge within the parkland setting.

Overall, the judges felt this project demonstrated a skillful development in its detail design whilst maintaining the clarity of the concept that had been presented at stage one.

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