Architects Daniel Bär, Stéphane Toussaint, Sean Edwards of Glasgow and Oslo studio BTE Architecture won a competition to design The Pyramid Viewpoint as part of the Scottish Scenic Routes – a government-run initiative intended to spotlight the work of young practices in Scotland.
The viewing platform is constructed from Siberian larch and stands on the edge of a rocky peninsula in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
The tall, wedge-shaped structure has stepped sides and provides an elevated perch for hikers and tourists overlooking the loch, which is the UK's largest stretch of inland water.
"Externally the viewpoint creates a distinctive point of attraction," said Bär, Toussaint and Edwards. "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."
The structure is positioned at the end of a gravelled path, which leads through the undergrowth to connect a nearby car park with the peninsula.
Only the thinnest angle of the wooden structure is visible on the approach, disguising the scale of the project. A narrow tunnel cuts through the centre of the form, expanding to frame a view of the lake and provide a route to the shore.
"It is first seen as a narrow vertical stack amongst the tree trunks surrounding the path," said trio. "Only a glimpse towards the loch is visible through a long tunnel that marks the entrance situation of the viewpoint."
"Only after having passed through this entrance and then looking back into the triangle, the viewpoint manifests itself as a steep rising platform that is accessed by steps going up and around the perimeter of the form."
Two flights of steps lead up the sides of the structure to tiered seating in the apex. From here visitors can closer inspect the lake through a set of binoculars.
"It's bold appearance contrasts and compliments the various greens of its natural surroundings and the usable inside of the structure invites the visitor to have a seat on a warm material that wants to be touched," said the architects.
Winners of previous Scottish Scenic Routes commissions include architecture students Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler, who designed a mirrored lookout point for the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
Architecture: BTE Architecture
Project architects: Daniel Bär, Stéphane Toussaint, Sean Edwards
Structural engineer: David Narro Associates
Contractor: Land Engineering
Client: Scottish Government
Supervision: Loch Lomond, The National Park
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