TRIPTYCH- NEW VISITOR SHELTERS FOR WESTER ROSS

’triptik: A set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.

In 2016 the Highland Council launched a competition to design a set of 3 new visitor shelters for key sites at Lochcarron, Achnasheen and Braemore Junction in Wester Ross. 

Our design provides a Triptych of shelters which celebrate our relationship with the landscape, and also each other.

The History of Scottish Landscape Painting: The origins of Landscape painting in Scotland lie in the sixteenth century tradition of Scottish house decoration. This period saw a shift in attitudes to the Highlands and mountain landscapes to interpreting them as aesthetically pleasing exemplars of nature.

This appreciation of the highland landscape endures to this day, and is a great attraction for visitors keen to experience the grand scale of nature first hand, often inspired by portrayals of this natural world in paintings, as well as photographs and film.

Proportion: The use of proportion in Architecture has long reaching roots- from the golden section used in Greek Temples, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, through to the modernist architect Le Corbusier’s modular system. Each of these proportional systems places man at the centre of the natural world.

Proportion plays an important role in the portrayal of Landscape in these media- We have used 3 key proportions in our design:

  • Square {Lochcarron} The square proportion pavilion is based on human proportions.
  • 4:3 {Achnasheen} is based on a typical proportion in landscape painting/ photography
  • 16:9 {Braemore Junction} This proportion is typically found in cinematography.

Form and Use: The stepped form of the structure is inspired by the contours of the Landscape and also encourage the shelters to be used as a belvedere of the landscape and a meeting point.

Each of our shelters provides a social function in addition to its’ primary role:

  • A Drive in Movie Venue
  • A Band Stand
  • A Gathering Space

Materials: The Triptych of Shelters are each formed from dry self-compacting concrete, with a light coloured pigment formed to a high quality smooth finish. This material is robust, durable, and low maintenance- which makes it very suitable for the environmental conditions of the three sites.

Colours: Each shelter will be painted internally with a given colour: Cyan, Yellow and Magenta. These colours are used in the printing process to form all other colours. Symbolically the three shelters then allow us a greater understanding of the world when combined.

Connection to Other People: Shared human experiences and interactions on both grand, and incidental scales are at the centre of our memories. We aim to create social spaces which allow people to interact with each other and the landscape.


Location: Wester Ross, Highlands, Scotland
Client: Highland Council
Value: £100,000
Status: Competition