LOCH LOMOND IS not just Captain Haddock’s favourite whisky in the Tintin stories. Above all it is the UK’s largest lake and the centre of the Scottish national park known as The Tròssachs. The practice BTE Architecture was commissioned to design a visitor centre on a high peninsula next to the tiny community of Inveruglas on the western shore of the lake. The result was a pyramid clad in larch that also serves as a gateway between the car park beyond and the views across the 40 kilometre long lake.
Once through the narrow wooden passage, visitors climb steps shaped like a V, up to an amphitheatre where they can take in the full landscape. The whole building is eight metres high and has a footprint of 60 square metres. The vertical exterior cladding conceals a structural frame of spruce timber. BTE’s larch pyramid is one of five construction projects that have so far emerged from the Scottish government’s architectural competitions aimed at developing some of the nation’s most spectacular natural tourist destinations. The building’s Gælic name is An Ceann Mòr – high peninsula or cape.«