Oban Maritime Visitor Facility

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Oban Maritime Visitor Facility

Visitors Centre in Western Scotland – design by Oberlanders Architects

29 Aug 2014

Oban Maritime Visitor Facility

Design: Oberlanders Architects

Oban Maritime Visitor Facility

Oberlanders Architects have gained planning consent from the Argyll & Bute Council for a new £1.5 million state of the art visitor orientation and marine tourism facility at Oban North Pier. The new landmark building, in parallel with a wider strategy for the public realm regeneration of the Oban waterfront, is part of the Argyll and Bute CHORD initiative, to regenerate the Scottish town’s waterfront and centre. The project, intended to create an exciting new heart for Oban, is key to the wider investment proposals including the enhancement of Oban Bay Public Realm and lighting, the North Pier extension and streetscape improvements.

Oban Maritime Visitor Facility

Wrapped around a public events arena the development is envisaged to be utilised by visitors and locals alike. It will tell the story of Oban’s role in the history of travel with the town still acting as the hub for ferries to the Hebrides islands. The building will provide roughly 230m² of flexible space allowing different patterns of occupation through the seasons and include a waiting area for coach parties and cruise ship passengers, acknowledging and serving the needs of Oban as a pivotal centre for global travel.

Oban Maritime Visitor Facility

The design responds to its immediate context of the Oban North Pier, Harbour, Marina, Esplanade and the dramatically sweeping town centre waterfront. Visible from land and water the central circular space, an echo of McCaigs Tower, will be partially enclosed by sandstone and concrete / render walls sculpted to offer shelter, places to sit, rest and enjoy. A fitting and welcoming place for Oban.

Oban Maritime Visitor Facility

The internal space, designed to be light, airy and yet protective, is sheltered by a timber framed textile canopy roof designed for respite from the elements but also to admit daylight into the heart of the proposal. Supported by a series of bespoke feature columns, inspired by maritime craft, the roof features a central glazed oculus creating a focal point for the gathering space below. The granite hard landscaping underfoot flows into the facility, the robust and durable construction is designed to create an aesthetic that is both civic and appropriately pragmatic to cope with the bustle of the working and potentially expanding pier.

Oban Maritime Visitor Facility

The design responds to its immediate context of the Oban North Pier, Harbour, Marina, Esplanade and the dramatically sweeping town centre waterfront. Visible from land and water the central circular space, an echo of McCaigs Tower, will be partially enclosed by sandstone and concrete / render walls sculpted to offer shelter, places to sit, rest and enjoy. A fitting and welcoming place for Oban.

The internal space, designed to be light, airy and yet protective, is sheltered by a timber framed textile canopy roof designed for respite from the elements but also to admit daylight into the heart of the proposal. Supported by a series of bespoke feature columns, inspired by maritime craft, the roof features a central glazed oculus creating a focal point for the gathering space below. The granite hard landscaping underfoot flows into the facility, the robust and durable construction is designed to create an aesthetic that is both civic and appropriately pragmatic to cope with the bustle of the working and potentially expanding pier.

Oban Maritime Visitor Facility

Work is programmed to start early in the new year, for completion within 2015. The value of the building is circa £1.5 million within a wider public realm budget totalling circa £4 million (including the centre). Oberlanders are subcontracted for Architectural Services to Capita who are delivering the Landscape, M&E, Structures and all other disciplines.

The project is included in a £30 million council plan to regenerate five towns under its control – Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Rothesay, Dunoon and Oban.

Oban Maritime Visitor Facility

Oban Maritime Visitor Facility image / information from Oberlanders Architects


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Oban Maritime Visitor Facility Building : page

Oberlanders Architects