Jacobite Discovery, Loch Ness Building, Architect, Scottish Highlands Design Project News, Images

Jacobite Discovery Centre, Loch Ness, Scotland

Scottish Visitor Facilities, Highlands Building design by cameronwebsterarchitects

12 Aug 2013

Jacobite Discovery Project

Loch Ness Building News

Jacobite Discovery Centre, Scotland

Jacobite Cruises’ Loch Ness visitor centre project designed by cameronwebsterarchitects (Glasgow) has been suspended. Jacobite Cruises was given full planning permission in 2011 for the £2.5m visitor centre building at Brackla.

22 Feb 2010

Jacobite Discovery Loch Ness

Jacobite Discovery Centre + Harbour facilities

Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands

Design: cameronwebsterarchitects, Glasgow

Loch Ness Centre Loch Ness Competition
images from architect

Loch Ness Competition – Shortlisted Architects
Cameron Webster Architects
Gareth Hoskins
ANTA Architecture
McKenzie Strickland Associates

Jacobite Discovery Project

Proposed Harbour, Reception, Operating base, Catering and Retail Facilities
Architectural Concept – Presentation by cameronwebsterarchitects


The Jacobite Discovery Project is a wonderful opportunity to build a world class building that makes the most of the spectacular site, increases business opportunities on the shores of Loch Ness and helps to further establish the Jacobite Experience as a premier tourist attraction in Scotland.

The northern mass of the ancient geological fault of the Great Glen commands a superlative view from its higher wooded reaches, and the dramatic contours of the site with its glen and burn contain a rich biodiversity that is typical of this special part of Scotland. We consider that the natural ecology and beauty of the land here is under appreciated, and that as this is extremely important in understanding the nature of the loch, this should become an intrinsic element in the experience of the Discovery Project. Accordingly our approach is to design the building to engage with and enhance the surrounding landscape, and to encourage visitors to explore it as well as the loch.

Jacobite Discovery Loch Ness Loch Ness Centre Loch Ness Competition
images from architect

The Existing Site

The site rises steeply to the north of the A82, with a natural woodland of alder birch and oak behind the proposed car park, and a deep narrow gorge formed by a small stream to the south west boundary, by the underpass. The attractive natural features of the higher points of the site also command a splendid view of the loch. The wooded stony shore along the south east of the road offers an uninterrupted view of the water and a pleasant spot to linger on a sunny day.

The narrowness of the underpass and its level are significant restrictions on the route to the proposed new pier, and in addition to the difficulty of servicing a building on the shore side of the road, a building there will be susceptible to occasional flooding. We believe that the quiet beauty of the shore should be retained and enhanced, while encouraging tourists to appreciate it.

A building on the land side will be far more prominent from the A82, and allow easy access from the car park. It will also serve a wider spectrum of business opportunities than those just relating to boats: eg: local trade, picnickers and walkers on the Great Glen Way. An upper floor will be able to take advantage of the loch views, and the small burn should be opened up to display the drama of the falling water and the ferns and plants in the rockface.

Proposed Site Plan

“Up the airy mountain and down the rushy glen”…

The site is organised to offer a direct sheltered pathway around the rear of the car park to the building, which is prominently positioned on the north side of the A82. In the building a relaxed glazed route leads down past the shop to the mossy burn and underpass. The experience of the natural landscape is maximised, opening out into a glade by the existing burn to let in sunlight and to create an attractive place at the base of the building.

The visitor can then move through the underpass to the wooded shore, where a series of ramps and stairs lead down to the new pier and boats, or to a raised lookout point. Additional boarded walks and seating areas are formed along the shore to allow for a relaxed experience of the loch on warm sunny days.

Further paths are formed up the hillside to create viewing platforms and picnicking spots in amongst the woodland area and by the burn, to encourage the appreciation of the flora and fauna of the area and also to create a possible connection to the Great Glen Way.

Site Plan ; Ground Floor Plan ; First Floor Plan:
Jacobite Discovery Centre Loch Ness Centre Loch Ness Competition
images from architect

Jacobite Discovery Centre images / information from cameronwebsterarchitects

Location: Brackla, Loch Ness, Scotland

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Comments / photos for the Jacobite Discovery Scottish Architecture page welcome