Laggan Locks

SD-GM in collaboration with Oliver Chapman Architects, Laggan Locks, 2016


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Kiosk from lock keepers cottage 

David McKenna     Download Original

  • Kiosk from lock keepers cottage    
  • Laggan Locks - view through structure    
  • View from across canal of Kiosk & Bothies    
  • Kiosk & Bothies from across Loch Lochy    
  • Bothies from edge of Loch Lochy    
  • Laggan Locks - view of approach    
  • Timber & concrete detail    
  • Kiosk sheltered view point & bench    
  • Charred timber detail    
  • Laggan Locks - viewpoint and seat    
  • Laggan Locks - detail and materials    
  • Laggan Locks - view through cafe    
  • Laggan Locks - shelter    
  • Laggan Locks    
  • Ground Floor Plan    
  • Roof Plan    
  • Site Section & Elevation    
  • Section & Elevation    
  • Detail of acute corner where charred timber and bleached timber meet    

Visitor facilities, cafe and camping pods at Laggan Locks

Laggan Locks forms the second phase of Scotland’s Scenic Routes initiative, which aims to improve visitor experiences of Scotland’s landscape, enhance rural economies showcase young design talent.

Scottish Canals proposed the sites for phase 2, building on its previous work with OCA to establish a network of camping pods offering accommodation for boaters, cyclists and walkers trekking at a series of their spectacular locations. The site at Laggan was identified as a potential visitor hub and the brief for facilities to complement the pods presented under the Scenic Routes open competition, which was won by SD-GM.

The structure provides a seasonal café/kiosk that could be securely shut down during the winter months while still providing a sheltered viewpoint down the Great Glen. Toilet and shower facilities are available for visitors and campers using the new camping pods.

The key elements of the programme, café/kiosk and toilet/shower facilities are separated but unified by one roof to create a covered platform within the structure. This space forms a passage through which visitors can catch a glimpse of the Great Glen as they approach and pass through into the covered view point.

The use of monochrome materials echoes traditional canal infrastructure. Charred larch cladding provides a robust envelope to the external environment while bright white timber boarding encourages visitors through the structure to the viewpoint.

The design of the camping pods share silhouette-like forms with the café, eroded and sculpted from cubic volumes and clad in the same charred timber to create an architectural family on the canal side. Sized for modular construction and transportation, the pods represent an evolution of prototypes that the client has commissioned and used at other sites along their network.


  • Begun: Jul 2015
  • Completed: Feb 2016
  • Floor area: 30m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £194,250
  • Funding: Scottish Scenic Routes Initiative
  • Tender date: Nov 2014
  • Procurement: NEC Contract
  • Address: Land at 100m south east of Ivy Cottage, Laggan Locks, Adjacent to PH34 4EB, United Kingdom

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