The new building is the headquarters of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, which covers an area of over 700 square miles to the north and west of Balloch. The new building provides flexible workspace for over 120 staff including associated community groups, staff from Scottish Natural Heritage and SEPA.
The design team has striven to meet client demands for an affordable, sustainable building that not only sets new standards for office design but one that also affects ways of working, allowing staff to undertake a planned process of change. It is anticipated that the building will help the National Park to adopt new ways of working; the space will primarily function as an administrative centre that becomes an information point and meeting focus for staff and the community at a central hub in the park.
The design concept was influenced by the constraints of the site, an unprepossessing location on the edge of a roundabout. The architect took advantage of this position to create a sinuous, curved structure that follows the contours to form a double-roofed, two-storey building. A large proportion – more than 35 percent – of the National Park is forest, and the park authorities were anxious that this was reflected in the use of timber in the building. The structure is one of the largest greenwood timber frames ever built in the UK. It contains offices, meeting and conference facilities, a cafe, library and public meeting spaces.