A giant timber pyramid has popped up in one of Scotland’s most scenic national parks. BTE Architecture recently completed An Ceann Mor, an eight-meter-tall wedge-shaped viewing platform that’s clad in sustainably sourced timber. Located on the banks of the freshwater Loch Lomond (Lake Lomond), the structure offers stunning panoramic views across the UK’s largest stretch of inland water and the Arrochar Alps.
The An Ceann Mor — Gaelic for large headland — was commissioned as the fourth and final installation of the Scottish government’s pilot Scenic Routes initiative. BTE Architecture carefully planned the user experience and approach, ensuring that even those with limited mobility can move through the structure. The visitor’s journey begins from the car park to an accessible path that winds through the trees to the pyramid viewpoint located on highest point of the peninsula. The sculptural structure is accessed through a long and narrow tunnel that frames a single view of the landscape and opens up to stunning panoramic views.
In addition to framing views, the viewing platform doubles as arena-like seating and includes 31 steps interspersed with benches. The An Ceann Mor is constructed entirely of sustainably-sourced wood that gives the structure its inviting appearance and complements the natural surroundings. The walls, stairs, and benches are finished with a vertical timber rain screen. Over time, the wood will develop a silvery gray patina.
“Externally the viewpoint creates a distinctive point of attraction,” write the architects. “With a strong visual impact it embraces the vast drama of the landscape which wants to be experienced in such an exposed location. The inviting gesture of the beacon attracts visitors from a distance, to explore an alternative view, a pause in their journey on this scenic seat.”
Images via BTE Architecture, © Andrew Lee