Glentress Mountain Biking Centre
Stage 2 Architecture
In semester 1 the Stage 2 Design project was a collaboration with the Forestry Commission and Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBiS). The students were set the challenge of designing a Mountain Biking trail centre for the North East of Scotland – a facility that currently doesn’t exist and that is the missing link in a national network of trail centres.
Their research was “hands on” with a visit to the world class trail centre at Glentress in the borders to experience the thrill of downhill mountain biking, and to understand the scope and organisation of the facilities required. Their brief also asked for the centre to use timber in a structurally inspiring way, and at the outset they studied and modelled a range of timber exemplars – developing their drawing and modelling skills at the same time as their understanding of how different structural systems relate to the form and character of the architecture.
The design project culminated in a public exhibition of all the student designs at the school on 10th February which was attended by many people from the cycling community, and which preceded a public meeting hosted by the school and led by Graeme Maclean of DMBiS and Calum Murray of the Forestry Commission. The aim of the meeting was to capitalise on the enthusiasm and inspiration provided by the student designs, and to galvanise the cyclists to form a group that will drive the project forward in reality.
The collaborative nature of this design project exposed the students to “real clients” during the process and allowed them to play a genuinely professional role in kick starting a real project.