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scenic routes 2

Scottish Scenic Routes – Phase 2 Competition, June 2014


The lay-by of the Cockbridge to Tomintoul road at Corgarff is a well-used stopping point for passing travellers to experience the dramatic panoramic views within Cairngorms National Park. The existing sculptural stone is a celebration of this experience, operating as a viewing point towards two key views; Corgarff Castle to the south and across the valley of the river Don to the east.

The Hillside Hollows provide the passing traveller with a sheltered space that echo the celebration of the two key views that the existing sculpture provides. On approach to the lay-by or within a passing vehicle, the Hollows serve as a way finding point, a sculptural form that appears impermeable. The charred larch cladding has a striking blackened texture complementing this unique form.

A pathway from the lay-by leads the visitor between and around the Hollows where the helix shape opens out forming two partially sheltered spaces, one facing towards the view of Corgarff Castle and one towards the valley of the river Don. Within the new formation, the existing sculpture becomes the third pinnacle stopping point and the final interpretation of the experience of the two key views.

Corgarff experiences extreme weather conditions, particularly exposure to strong wind. The form of the Hollows operate as a barrier against the wind and rain, with the two alternative aspects providing a barrier from the wind from any orientation.

The asymmetrical form of the Hollows is based on the expanding characteristic of the helix shape, the form is smaller and enclosed towards the centre and expands outwards as the visitor moves around the axis to experience the view to the south or east.

The triangular faceted structural form is composed from 45mm x 175mm laminated veneer lumber struts angled lengthways to suit the angular form. Bespoke steel flitch plates are sandwiched between two laminated veneer lumber struts and bolted with stainless steel carriage bolts. The combination of laminated veneer lumber and steel flitch plates will provide rigidity and be less prone to shrinking or warping. At the base of the timber structure steel flitch plates form a connection with a universal steel beam bolted to the concrete strip foundation.
The charred larch cladding nailed to the laminated veneer lumber struts will be placed to allow air gaps between each panel to reduce wind loading. The cladding can also act as a structural diaphragm to provide additional stability.
The sculptural form of the hollows demands a more complicated structural solution that must be highly stable to withstand the strong weather conditions of the exposed location. The final form will therefore require further developments following detailed analysis of a structural model to ensure structural efficiency.

Timber is the predominant material of our hollows in order to provide a natural aesthetic that is in keeping with the natural setting. The timber will be locally and sustainably sourced within Scotland.
Scottish larch timber cladding is specified as it can withstand the weather elements through its tough, waterproof and durable qualities. The natural resistance to rot will be crucial for the exposed site.
The charring of the wood serves an aesthetic purpose by enhancing the grain and is a chemical free fire prevention and preservation treatment making the wood-fibre less appetising to insects. The linear hatched cladding arrangement echoes the distinctive muirburn patterns of the local landscape.

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