Entries shortlisted for Wester Ross Visitor Information Shelters
Last month The Highland Council launched an architectural competition for the development of three visitor information shelters at key entry points to Wester Ross; Achnasheen, Lochcarron and Braemore. The competition attracted the attention of architects from across the world and there were 66 concept design submissions received last week. All submissions were of a very high standard making the evaluation process both rewarding and challenging. Submissions were reviewed by a technical panel then a judging panel, made up of five community representatives, that shortlisted their favourite three. The three shortlisted architects are James Barnfield from Hilton Barnfield Architects, Calum Duncan from Calum Duncan Architects and Mike Hyatt from Mike Hyatt Landscape Architects.
The aim of this project is to encourage expansion of tourism in Wester Ross whilst adding value to other projects and facilities within the area. Moreover, this is an opportunity to support the UNESCO designations, Wester Ross Biosphere and North West Highland Geopark, by promoting and informing visitors.
The winning shelters will provide multiple functions; at Achnasheen the shelter will replace an old, tired bus shelter located near the railway station that the community have been keen to replace for some time. The Lochcarron shelter will assist the local Development Trust with their ever growing demand for visitor information. The Braemore location is the ideal spot for visitors to stop to learn more about the local environment, cultural highlights, traveller facilities and amenities.The project supports the Council’s priorities for positive rural impacts, delivering economic benefits from tourism through improvements in visitor experience and developing Highland as a world class destination.
Also main Wester Ross roadways are component sections of the increasingly popular North Coast 500 route.
Chair of the Planning, Developments and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Audrey Sinclair said: “As one of the judging panel, I was impressed by the standard, variety and originality of the designs submitted and it was a difficult task to narrow them down to three. I am looking forward to the next stages in the process. I am sure that the structures when in place will be assets to their environments as well as being functional places of shelter and information for our very welcome visitors.”
Highland Council is indebted to the contribution of Community Councils and Tourism Groups within the Wester Ross area for their assistance in progressing the project to this stage.
Councillor Richard Greene added: “Tourism is a key feature of the Wester Ross economy, and Highland Council support through this project seeks to provide these gateway information shelters to enhance and inform the visitor enjoyment of Wester Ross.”