In the far north west of Scotland is a remarkable sub-tropical garden begun in the nineteenth century but now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. We won an open competition for the design of a 200 seat restaurant on a site adjacent to Loch Ewe and also to two extensive existing walled gardens.
Our project divided the restaurant into four cafes of fifty seats each (the size of a bus party) and placed each in its own walled garden. The servery took the form of an underground grotto and the continuation of the walled garden retaining wall became a thickened 'service wall' penetrated by openings between the grotto and the cafes, the entrance route ramping down on its landward side.
The cafes shelter under a glazed canopy supported by a forest of tree like steel supports, which also act as the portals from cafes to the terrace and from the circulation route to the cafes. Cafes can be progressively closed down or opened up to meet the variable demand of the tourist season. The glazed roof designed to be a continuation of the tradition of walled garden glass houses also acts as a solar chimney, with pre-warmed air mechanically re-circulated down to the cafes. The window wall is capable of completely folding away to transform the cafes into a deep veranda on sunny days.
The project was abandoned one week before construction was due to start on site and an alternative design by a local architect was built in the car park.
|Architects||Richard Murphy, Graeme Montgomery|
|M&E Engineers||ARUP Scotland|
|Quantity Surveyor||Souter and Jaffrey Inverness|
|Client||National Trust for Scotland|