The Office for Subversive Architecture (OSA) and art practice san façon have unveiled new designs for an amphitheatre-style riverside artwork in Inverness, two years after their controversial tilting pier was scrapped for ‘political reasons’
Titled My Ness, the collaborative artwork comprises two curved walls on either side of the River Ness, a seating area and viewing point projecting over the water.
If built, it would be the flagship piece of a wider £758,350 River Ness Art Project commissioned by The Highland Council’s Inverness City Arts Working Group.
san façon described the structure as a ‘thin ribbon of stone’ which frames the river and provides seating areas and viewing points.
The new designs come two years after a previous project proposed for the riverside – a tilting pier designed by OSA founders Karsten Huneck and Bernd Trümpler under the KHBT banner – was rejected due to fears over its viability, public support and location.
Huneck, who is also working on the latest project, said previous scheme had been shelved due to ‘political reasons’, adding: ‘The tilting pier that was proposed before has been shelved due to local elections and a change within the local government.’
He said the new artwork referenced a ‘circular amphitheatre’ with the river itself being the focus.
A statement on behalf of sans façon and OSA said: ‘The work aims to complement the river and people’s relationship to it, to frame and invite others to appreciate it.
’A thin ribbon of stone frames the Ness, starting as an access, becoming a path to run along for a child, a bench for reading a book, a viewing point up and down the river, a back-rest for looking across it.
‘In its upstream portion, it weaves through the trees and bushes to offer a unique view up the river or back to the castle and cathedral.’
It has funding from Creative Scotland, the City of Inverness Common Good Fund, Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The aim is to open the installation by the start of next summer, pending public consultation and planning approval.
Gathering Place by KHBT - a previous tilting pier design which was abandoned