The Pyramid Viewpoint | BTE Architecture | Loch Lomond

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project info:

Project Name: The Pyramid Viewpoint
Architects: BTE Architecture
Area: 60 m²
Client: Scottish Government
contract value: 193k
Design Team: Daniel Bär, Stéphane Toussaint, Sean Edwards
Structural Engineer: David Narro Associates, Glasgow
Contractor: Land Engineering
Supervision: Loch Lomond, The National Park
Location: Inveruglas, Arrochar, Argyll and G83 7dp, Scotland
Country: United Kingdom

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The Pyramid Viewpoint is located on a peninsula, overlooking the UK’s largest inland watercourse, Loch Lomond. An existing cafe marks the entry position for visitors arriving by car from the A82 or by boat. From the car park with an adjacent pier, a system of paths leads to the peninsula and continues along its open sides formed by large cliffs, or through a site sheltered by trees and shrubs.Rocks trace the site above the water’s edge and a series of stairs and easily accessible ramps lead the visitor through a slope inside the site. The paths intertwine, emphasizing these junctions to form a parkour with the rendezvous. The topography of the site allows the surrounding landscape to be experienced as a panorama, with the site itself visible from afar, as a rock in the middle of the water.

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The viewpoint takes the shape of a triangular platform and is located at the end of a long winding path extending from the car park to the highest point of the peninsula. It is first seen as a narrow vertical pile between tree trunks around a path. Only a glimpse towards the loch is visible through a long tunnel, which marks the entry position of the viewpoint. A one-storey tunnel that narrows like a walkway runs from one vertex of the triangle to its base, with views at the ends concealing the scale of the project. Only after passing through this entrance and then looking back into the triangle, the approach reveals itself as a soaring platform that is reached by steps above and around the perimeter of the form. Benches, located between the steps, form the central core.As the structure grows more exposed benches mimic the seating arrangement of an area.

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Visitors are taken on a journey and from afar visualize the narrow vertical piles of greenery rising above them. The entrance is evident from the tunnel that frames the loch on the other side. After passing through this entrance, the approach reveals itself as a soaring platform, accessed by steps that rise and wrap around the perimeter. Leisure opportunities are integrated into the structure with benches in between the steps.

Constructed entirely with wood, both the walls, stairs and benches have been clad in a vertical wooden rain screen. BTE’s response creates a sense of internally connecting with nature and inviting tourists and locals alike to experience an alternative view of the pristine Scottish landscape.

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