Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre – New Stirling Architecture

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Stirling, Building, Architect, Design, Scottish Project

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre, Stirling

New Building in central Scotland, UK – design by Reiach and Hall, architects

15 Mar 2014

New Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre in Stirling

The New Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Opens

Design: Reiach and Hall, architects

This new visitor centre opened on 1 March, ahead of the 700th anniversary of the battle on 23 and 24 June – uses new technology to bring the battle to life for visitors, offering an experience which is unlike any other available in the UK. Installations are used to interpret and explain the events which led up to the battle, and its consequences.

New photos 15th March 2014:
Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre

Brief Review by e-architect editor, Scottish architect Adrian Welch:

The new building is rather blunt, a dark grey rectilinear object between car park and rolling lawns. The facades are relieved by changing patterns in the brickwork, but there is a lack of drama here. This is Bannockburn, where Scots recorded a historic victory, one might expect some passion shining through the architecture!
The entrance is very understated, not found until close up, no signifying canopy, pop-out or recess.

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre

The interior spaces are light-filled and wrap around a simple white courtyard, not totally finished on our visit, one wonders whether it will be left as an empty void or whether people might be allowed to filter into it? The simple white interiors gain warmth from areas of vertical timber battens.

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre

The shop is next to the entry, rather expensive exhibition to the right, toilets to the left and cafeteria straight ahead, facing out west. The wind was howling on our visit and the cafe door kept being left open to the irritation of staff and some visitors, however the cafe siting with expansive windows out to the external elements is successful. Perhaps some element of windbreak using levels (a 1m high ha-ha in reverse) could help dissipate the icy blast iof the wind here.

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre

Overall I found the building a little disengaged, it feels more like it would be home in a grittier environment for example Glasgow or Rotterdam, and lacking in joie de vivre.

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre
photographs © Adrian Welch


photographs © Adrian Welch

A collaboration between Historic Scotland and The National Trust for Scotland, the Scottish Government has committed £5 million to the project through Historic Scotland, and £4.1 million has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The opening of the centre will form a key part of the Homecoming 2014 celebrations and promises to attract significant visitor numbers to the Stirling area.

View north to Stirling Castle:
Stirling Castle
photograph © Muriel Welch

There is an outdoor element at Bannockburn, to the north west – a striking circular feature with a final path out to a large statue of Robert the Bruce on his horse:


photographs © Adrian Welch

6 Feb 2014

New Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre

Preview of new Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre offers a glimpse behind the scenes of the world-class attraction

Design: Reiach and Hall, architects

With less than a month to go until the opening of the new Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre, Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs has been given a preview of the attraction.

Photos of the New Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre, from Oct 2013:
Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre
pictures © Isabelle Lomholt

Fiona Hyslop was given the opportunity to experience the interactive exhibits and meet the Battlemasters who guide visitors through the attraction. Cutting-edge motion capture technology is used to immerse visitors in a 3D medieval battle, while they are also given the chance to lead a division of soldiers from Robert the Bruce and Edward II’s armies in a dramatic battle simulation.

A massive 3D map of the landscape gives a bird’s-eye view of the battle, showing both the present-day terrain and the land as it was in 1314, and visitors can ‘meet’ computer-generated representations of some of the individuals whose lives would have been impacted by the events of 23 and 24 June 1314.

This is the first heritage attraction in the world to use motion capture technology, famous for creating characters in film such as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The CDDV – a partnership between the world leaders in 3D visualization at The Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio (DDS) and heritage experts from Historic Scotland – worked with The Clanranald Trust for Scotland who have provided combat fighting for over 180 film productions, including Gladiator and Robin Hood, to develop authentic fight choreography. The CDDV also filmed live horses with the guidance of Toby Capwell from the Wallace Collection to develop the equestrian animation.

A range of short 3D films transport the visitor back to 1314, the night before the battle, to witness some of the physical preparations involved in battle and cavalry training, surrounded by 270 degree, massive screens, for a truly immersive experience. This prepares the visitor for the innovative Battle Game, where they can take command of the knights and soldiers who fought in 1314 and pit their wits against their fellow visitors on a virtual battlefield.

Designed by Scottish architecture firm Reiach & Hall, the building takes a sensitive approach to the battlefield site. Careful conservation of existing monuments on the site has been undertaken and the new building adopts a modern interpretation of traditional farm steadings and a large courtyard, bringing the historic and contemporary together in an inventive and dignified way.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: “The Battle of Bannockburn was a pivotal event in Scotland’s history and as we approach the 700th anniversary of the battle, I was delighted to be given a preview of the exciting new Bannockburn Visitor Centre. State of the art technology is used to tell the story of the conflict in an informative and engaging manner, revealing the impact it had at both an individual and a national level. The centre is housed in a striking building designed by Reiach and Hall, which enhances the experience for the visitor, reminding us of the value that a sense of ‘place’ has for all of us and the important role that the built environment plays in enriching our lives.”

Sir Kenneth Calman, Chairman of the National Trust for Scotland said: “Our charity is proud to have been charged with the care of this important site since the 1930s. The Trust’s aim is to tell this place’s story with academic accuracy and balance, in the most compelling way we can. We have worked with world-leading experts from a range of disciplines to create this unique experience which is a true testament to their impressive talent and innovation, and which will provide visitors with an unrivalled insight into medieval battle and the events of June 1314.”

Images of Fiona Hyslop’s visit to the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre will be sent to picture desks this morning.

A new look for 2014: The Battle of Bannockburn project is an exciting partnership between the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund. An innovative new visitor centre and sensitive landscaping will change the way visitors experience Bannockburn, making it a truly world-class site for this defining moment in Scotland’s history. The new Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre will use state of the art installations to interpret and explain the circumstances that led up to this pivotal event in our history and its consequences. The Scottish Government has committed £5 million through Historic Scotland, and £4.1 million has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The design team includes:
• Architectural Team – Reiach and Hall with Sinclair Knight Merz (Engineer), Turner and Townsend (QS) and KJ Tait (M&E Engineers)
• Interpretation: Concept and Design – Bright White Ltd
• Landscape Architects – Ian White Associates
• 3D Media Research, Development and Realisation – Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV)
• Contractors – Mansell Construction Services Ltd
6. The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) is internationally recognised as one of Europe’s foremost higher education institutions for creative education and research in fine art, design and architecture. The Digital Design Studio (DDS) is a world leading research and postgraduate centre of the GSA specialising in 3D digital visualisation and interaction technologies,. It combines academic, research and commercial activities. The experts at the Digital Design Studio are currently creating the 3D scans for the widely admired Scottish Ten as a partner in the CDDV. Other areas of DDS research include ground-breaking medical visualization, Marine Visualization and Auralisation and sound. www.gsa.ac.uk/research/research-centres/digital-design-studio/

14 Oct 2013

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Update

New Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Photos

This new building on the south side of Stirling is nearing completion. These photos are from last weekend. The Heritage Lottery Fund provided a £3.9m grant to the Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre to commemorate its 700th anniversary. The design is by Edinburgh architects Reiach and Hall.

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre
photos © Isabelle Lomholt

31 Jan 2012

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre News

New Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre approved

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre design:
Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre
image from Historic Scotland

When construction work for the new centre at Bannockburn is confirmed, it will create an unrivalled experience for the thousands of people who visit the battle ground every year while affording dignity to this important historic site.

Ground-breaking technology will be used to give visitors a true sense of the battle, from the social history of the time to medieval war craft. People will be able to interact with 3D digital images as never before, experiencing graphics which will respond with movement and commentary. Visitors will also have the chance to play their part in the battle and apply their newly acquired knowledge of tactics and weaponry to influence the outcome.

Key battlefield monuments will be repaired and the setting improved, including the A-listed rotunda that is located at the site of the historic Borestone, where Robert the Bruce raised his standard at the start of the battle. The landscape will also be enhanced to re-establish important historic views, such as to Stirling Castle, which was the objective of the battle.

HLF’s award to Bannockburn comes on the back of a year which has seen £50million of Heritage Lottery Fund investment come to fruition in the transformation of four national tourist attractions – the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire, the acclaimed Riverside Museum in Glasgow, and in Edinburgh, the National Museum and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

7 Sep 2011

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Approval

New Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre approved

Plans for the new visitor centre to showcase the Battle of Bannockburn have been granted permission by Stirling Council.

The new centre has been designed by award-winning architects Reiach and Hall as part of the project to enhance the presentation of the battle and its significance to our history in time for the 700th anniversary of the battle in 2014.

The ambitious project is a partnership between heritage agency Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland.

National Trust for Scotland Chief Executive Kate Mavor said: “The approval of the designs for the new visitor centre means that we are one step closer to creating a world-class facility. Together with our combined expert knowledge and research the centre is set to be a welcome addition to the site’s 700 year history.”

Historic Scotland Chief Executive Ruth Parsons said: “The new exhibition will use cutting edge technology to engage the visitor and give them a proper understanding of this historic battle and its significance.”

2014 will be a huge year for events in Scotland – as well as the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, we will also play host to the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup.

In 2009 Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs announced £5m funding for the new centre. An application for £3.8m has received a stage one pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Cllr Steven Paterson, Portfolio Holder, Empowerment and Citizenship, Stirling Council, said:

“The new exhibition and heritage centre at the site of the Battle of Bannockburn will be a fantastic attraction, adding to both the visual and emotional impact of the battlefield and our understanding of all that took place here 700 years ago.

“The centre’s bold and imaginative design, combining the robust exterior of textured grey brick and shiny ‘chainmail’-style black-tiled roof with a bright, welcoming interior flooded with light, will help tell the story of Stirling’s and Scotland’s heritage. It will truly bring the history of the Battle of Bannockburn to life for local people and visitors to Stirling from across the world.”

Cllr Scott Farmer, Stirling Council Portfolio Holder for Economy, Tourism and Finance, said:

“Stirling will be at the heart of so many of the special events taking place in 2014 – above all the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. We must make sure that we use this unique opportunity to create lasting economic benefits for our whole area.

“The new Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre will help us do that, strengthening Stirling’s ‘must see’ appeal for visitors from home and abroad. It’s another example of how we are continually improving the quality of all that Stirling has to offer.

“I congratulate the Scottish Government for this significant investment during these challenging economic times. This is an inspirational decision, promoting a positive, can do agenda for both Stirling and Scotland as a whole.”

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre image / information from Historic Scotland

Previously:

20 Jun 2011

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Design

First sight of new Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre plans

The designs for the new visitor centre to showcase the Battle of Bannockburn have been unveiled today (Monday).

The planning application for the new centre is being lodged this week, revealing the dramatic new look for the centre.

Information boards detailing the plans will be onsite at the Bannockburn Heritage Centre from 20 June, allowing members of the public to see the new plans that have been lodged with Stirling Council.

The new centre has been designed by award-winning architects Reiach and Hall as part of the project to enhance the presentation of the battle, its significance to our history and the visitor facilities available in time for the 700th anniversary of the battle in 2014.

The project – an ambitious partnership between heritage agency Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland – was announced in October 2010 by the Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop. In addition to the £5m awarded to the project by the Scottish Government, an application has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for additional interpretation and landscaping works.

Historic Scotland Chief Executive Ruth Parsons said: “In looking at all we want to achieve with world-class, cutting edge technology to immerse the visitor in the experience of battle, we quickly realised that the existing centre would not be able to accommodate everything we wanted.

“I am very excited to be able to unveil the new designs created exclusively for this project by Reiach and Hall. They bring with them a great empathy for what we want to achieve and I think they have created a design that will be the perfect canvas to the exceptional interpretation we are planning to introduce.”

National Trust for Scotland Chief Executive Kate Mavor said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to look at how we present and interpret one of the most defining moments in our history and this new centre is the first step in achieving that.

“Another key element in the design is the landscaping which will open up the views of the memorial and give them back to the people of Bannockburn as the current building prevents you from looking straight through to the iconic statue of Robert the Bruce that is recognised around the world.”

The plans will now go in front of the planning committee of Stirling Council to consider.

Visitors to the centre will be able to see an outline of the designs from Reiach and Hall architects and Ian White Associates landscape architects and a tantalising first glimpse of the interpretation concepts by Bright White.

It comes a week after lead architect Neil Gillespie was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to architecture and being made an Academician of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Neil Gillespie OBE said: ‘’Along with Landscape Architects, Ian White Associates, and Interpretation Designers, Brightwhite, we are extremely privileged to be working with The National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland at The Battle of Bannockburn, a defining moment in Scottish History and a wonderful site.

“Although modest in scale our project attempts to give some gravitas back to the site, concentrating attention on the story of the battle, the rotunda, the statue of Bruce and the great prospect to the north of Stirling Castle and the Ochils.’’

2014 will be a huge year for events in Scotland – as well as the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn Scotland will also play host to the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup.

A new visitor centre will bring a cutting-edge digital interpretation to the battle of Bannockburn when it opens in 2014 and establish the site’s position as one of the most historically and culturally important places in Scotland during the commemoration of the battle’s 700 year anniversary.

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre – Background Information

The Battle of Bannockburn Project is a joint venture by the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government, to provide a new visitor centre and experience for one of the most significant battles in Scotland’s history for the 700th anniversary in the 2014.

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Design Team
• Architectural Team – Reiach and Hall with Sinclair Knight Merz (Engineer), Turner and Townsend (QS) and KJ Tait (M&E Engineers)
• Interpretation consultant – Bright White
• Landscape Architects – Ian White Associates
• Digital Design – Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV

Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

The National Trust for Scotland is one of Scotland’s leading conservation charities, which relies on the financial support of its members to fund its important work of caring for the natural and cultural heritage of Scotland for everyone to enjoy

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre image / information from Historic Scotland

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre architect : Reiach and Hall


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

Stirling Architecture

Stirling Architecture

Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle Photos
photo from Cowco
Stirling Castle

Stirling Tolbooth
Richard Murphy Architects
Stirling Tolbooth, Richard Murphy
photo by Stirling Council

Stirling Tolbooth

Stirling Offices
Michael Laird Architects
Stirling Offices
photo : Paul Zanre

Stirling Buildings : Castle Business Park

Scottish Buildings

Visitor Centres

Scottish Architects

Comments / photos for the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Stirling welcome

Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre – page

Website: battleofbannockburn.com