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Mike Hyatt scoops £100k Highland shelters contest

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Mike Hyatt Landscape Architects has won the Highland Council’s design contest for three low-cost and remote visitor centres in Wester Ross

The Glasgow-based studio was chosen ahead of rival bids by emerging practices Calum Duncan Architects with Urban Pioneers and Hilton Barnfield Architects from Exeter.

The two-stage competition, open to architects and landscape architects, sought ‘innovative and striking’ proposals for new visitor information points at three key entry points to the scenic region.

Commenting on the win, practice founder Mike Hyatt said: ‘We looking forward to developing a modern interpretation of the traditional bothy, incorporating input from each community to make them unique to each location’.

The £100,000 project will deliver three stand-alone shelters at the Smithy Hub near Lochcarron, the A835 layby close to Braemore junction and in Achnasheen.

The coastal area of Wester Ross is a popular tourist destination featuring many sea lochs, freshwater lochs and Munro-class mountains.

The competition was part of Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations, and follows the creation of the North Coast 500 driving route which has boosted visitor numbers in the district.

The first shelter will be constructed at the Smithy Community Hub just outside Lochcarron where the popular touring trail enters Wester Ross from the south.

The second installation will replace an existing bus stop outside Achnasheen train station. Designs must fit within the structure’s existing envelope and include a bus and train timetable display.

The final installation will be erected within a large layby near Braemore Forest on the key A835 road between Ullappool and Inverness.

Hyatt will receive £15,000 and the design commission. A £1,000 honorarium will also be paid to the two defeated finalists. The shelters are set to start on site next year.



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