hillside hollows


Finalist design for the Scottish Goverment’s Scottish Scenic Routes Competition, 2014.
Royal Scottish Academy; Medal for Architecture Winner- 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 layby 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 layby 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.