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Benmore Botanic Garden Visitor Centre, Cowal

The proposed Benmore Visitor Centre will provide a much needed Hub facility to welcome, orientate and disperse visitors to the Benmore Botanic Garden, Argyll Forest Park, western area of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park and the Cowal peninsula.

We are working with the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh to develop a new Visitor Centre at Benmore Botanic Garden. The Benmore Hub has significant resonance with the strategies and action plans for Argyll & Bute Council, Argyll Forest Park and the National Park. A purpose built hub offers new scope for the Benmore Regional Garden to make a significant contribution of space for interpretation and information, as well as furthering their learning, quality of life, promotion and tourism objectives – all while being more efficient in terms of energy management, more sustainable in terms of commercial viability and more appealing in terms of visitor experience.

The site sits on the southern edge of the Argyll Forest Park and the south-western edge of the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. Its location presents a unique opportunity for a new hub facility linked to the local tourism, recreational, environmental and heritage offer.

 

Date
2014

Client
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Value
£4.1 million


The Challenge

The existing visitor centre and infrastructure is not ideally suited for current needs. It is essential that the new centre enables a real improvement of the visitor experience, particularly in terms of the relationship with the River Etricht and the Garden itself.

The Solution

jmarchitects propose a new-build contemporary pavilion that holds sustainability as a core value, optimises the use of local natural materials, minimises energy usage and provides an adaptable and responsive environment for visitors and staff.

The Outcome

Our designs will create a new identity for Benmore Botanic Gardens by creating an iconic and naturally sympathetic building. The new centre will facilitate the existing routes and trails through the Botanic Gardens as well as creating new vistas and vantage points, giving the visitor a unique experience.