Stranraer Gateways, Balyett

AHR, Dumfries and Galloway, 2015


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AHR / Daniel Hopkinson (website)     Download Original

  • Balyett Existing Site Plan    
  • Balyett Site Context Plan    
  • Balyett Proposed Site Plan    
  • Balyett Sections and Elevations    
  • Proposed Cafe External Cladding    
  • Before    
  • Proposed External Shelter    

A refurbished café and new pavilion overlooking Loch Ryan

AHR was commissioned by Dumfries & Galloway Council to enhance key approach locations whilst creating a positive impression to the outskirts of Stranraer. An underlying driver for the project was to counteract the decline in footfall within the town centre following the relocation of the ferry port for Northern Ireland up the coast to Cairnryan.

The first completed ‘Gateway’ is at the Balyett layby adjacent to the A77 with extensive views down Loch Ryan and incorporating a popular but tired-looking café. The project entailed construction of a cantilevered larch-clad pavilion providing sheltered seating and a binocular outlook to take advantage of the panoramic views and shoreline birdlife. The café was refurbished externally to compliment the rural shelter creating a simple, functional place sympathetic to its surroundings. It serves visitors and the local community alike and makes reference to the porthole views of the visible but distant ferries.

Completed in June 2015, at a cost of £55,000, the refurbished café and new pavilion have been exceptionally well received by the public. Architecturally, the intervention sits comfortably and in scale with its natural setting on the loch shore located on the existing coastal path and cycle route. It provides respite for walkers and cyclists along this route and for drivers using the lay-by in a scenic and strategic location for the observation of wading birds and distant ferries arriving and leaving down Loch Ryan.

A simple palette of materials have been applied taking cognisance of the local surroundings. The main construction material, larch, was chosen as a Scottish sourced material being durable, natural and cost effective whilst weathering from brown to a less obtrusive grey. The building life-cycle was an important consideration requiring minimal maintenance throughout the life of the structures within an exposed locale.


  • Begun: Mar 2015
  • Completed: Jun 2015
  • Floor area: 120m2
  • Sector: Public realm
  • Total cost: £55,000
  • Funding: Public Funding
  • Tender date: Jan 2015
  • Procurement: Form of contract or procurement – AHR consultancy appointment - Public Sector Quick Quote Tender. Contractor appointment - Dumfries & Galloway Council in-house contractor
  • Address: Bunker Snackbar, A77 Stranraer , Dumfries and Galloway, DG9 8QL, United Kingdom

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