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Cameron Webster's Loch Ness visitor centre scrapped

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Cameron Webster’s £2.5 million scheme to design a visitor centre at Loch Ness has been axed in favour of a revamp of the client’s existing harbour facilities

The Glasgow-based firm won the scheme to design a visitor centre for client Jacobite Cruises back in 2010, beating Gareth Hoskins, ANTA Architecture and McKenzie Strickland Associates.

Robin Webster, a partner at Cameron Webster, told the AJ he was unaware of the decision, describing it as a ‘blow’ and ‘extremely disappointing’.

However, on contacting the client, he was told there was a new, smaller scheme on the table that Webster described as ‘an opportunity to do something rather wonderful’.

Webster said the axing of the practice’s original scheme was to do with logistical and legal issues rather than the price tag.  

He added that after his brief chat with the client, it seemed likely that as well as the revamped visitor centre, that the scheme would entail a new harbour wall and new offices.

‘It may be a smaller scheme,’ said Webster, ‘but there is more potential.

He added that he was ‘hopeful’ Cameron Webster would secure the new scheme.

Previous story (AJ 19.02.2010)

Cameron Webster wins Loch Ness harbour design

Cameron Webster Architects has beaten Gareth Hoskins, ANTA Architecture and McKenzie Strickland Associates in the contest to design a new harbour at Loch Ness.

Speaking after the announcement, Stuart Cameron, partner at the small Glasgow-based practice, said: ‘We’re very excited. This is a very important building for us and it will have a significant public profile.’

He added: ‘Loch Ness is an international tourist attraction, and this new building will offer wonderful views of the loch, and also of the land that forms it and the streams that feed it, which have a very rich biodiversity.’

Rod Michie, director at client Jacobite Cruises said: ‘We were absolutely delighted by the standard of the presentations, each had spent considerable time preparing very logical solutions for our project.

‘ANTA’s [scheme] was a refreshing surprise and would have been a great innovation but the head must rule and the vertical nature of the customer movement ruled it out.

‘It was a close decision. But all involved within both our company and the two groups of local stakeholders agreed the Cameron Webster concept best fitted a tourism development by the side of the world-famous Loch Ness.’

Last year, Cameron Webster Architects won an RIBA Award for their offices in Glasgow and were shortlisted for the Andrew Doolan prize.

The practice was established in 2005 by Stuart Cameron, Miranda Webster and Robin Webster.

Previous story (AJ 15.02.10)

Architects battle over new Loch Ness harbour design

Contest finalists Gareth Hoskins, ANTA Architecture, Cameron Webster and McKenzie Strickland Associates have unveiled their proposals for a new harbour in Loch Ness

The winner is set to be announced on Friday (19 February) for the £1 million scheme to expand parking and visitor facilities at Brackla, West Loch Ness.

A spokesperson for contest backer Jacobite Cruises said they expect to have a pre-appointment meeting with one of the practices on Wednesday (17 February).

The design competition was part of an online, public consultation dubbed the Jacobite Legend looking at the development of the 1.4ha site which backs onto the A82.

Rod Michie, Director at Jacobite said: ’ The business continues to grow and, in order to continue improving our customer experience, we need to expand our facilities. And we want do it in a way that is sustainable and sympathetic to [these] breathtaking surroundings.’

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