img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

Wanderer's Wonder commended: Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou for Resting point on Scottish routes

Words:
Isabelle Priest

The two architects, from Sto.a, caught the judges’ attention with a climbable 4.5m galvanized steel thistle containing an area to rest and enjoy the Highland landscape

Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou’s domed structure resembles a giant flowerhead in the landscape.
Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou’s domed structure resembles a giant flowerhead in the landscape.

Resting point on Scottish routes

Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou, architects, Sto.a

This climbable shelter in the Scottish Highlands is a 4.5m structure mimicking the radial symmetrical geometry of a thistle. A galvanized steel spiral staircase leads the wanderer upwards to a resting area, where metal woven screens provide safety and visual permeability across the surrounding countryside.

The screens are supported by galvanized steel rods connecting to the roof and floor. Galvanized steel beams support the timber decking, carrying and transferring the structure’s weight towards the central column. A domed roof, clad in local, long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing Scottish larch shingles, offers shelter.

The roof of the flowerhead is covered in transparent flexible fibre rods with mini photovoltaic panels at the ends (which feed the lighting system). These flexible and lightweight fibre rods droop naturally under gravity, and, like a seedhead, rustle in the wind (a feature that was likened to Heatherwick Studio’s Seed Cathedral at Expo 2010 by judge Jonathan Hagos).

  • Resting point on Scottish routes by Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou.
    Resting point on Scottish routes by Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou.
  • Resting point on Scottish routes by Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou.
    Resting point on Scottish routes by Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou.
  • Resting point on Scottish routes by Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou.
    Resting point on Scottish routes by Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou.
  • Resting point on Scottish routes by Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou.
    Resting point on Scottish routes by Eleni Bismpiki and Anna Nikolaidou.
1234

The majority of the giant thistle – structure and cladding – is galvanized steel; it is designed to be eventually recycled or reused.

Initially reticent about its large size (more of a landmark than a chance encounter), its structural viability and literalness, the judges arrived at a revised opinion on further consideration. ‘I enjoyed the boldness of the gesture,’ said Hagos. ‘There is something wonderful about… changing your perspective while on a journey, or changing your view and your vantage point looking over the landscape.’ 

‘I liked the minimal impact on the ground and the elevated view; you can picture it in tree foliage and hear the noises of the surrounding trees,’ said Garreth McMahon.

 

To view the winners, commended and shortlisted projects click here. RIBAJ Wanderers Wonder competition is produced in association with The Galvanizers Association

 

 

 

Latest

As the BSA imposes profound changes on the construction process, Pilbrow & Partners is putting a rigorous checklist and proof of principal designer competence at the heart of its quality control

Pilbrow & Partners is putting collaboration, competence and checking at the heart of quality control

David Chipperfield Architects’ latest contribution to the Royal Academy is to its discreet art school – largely out of the public eye but transformative for students

Lighter, brighter school is transformative for students

Design a peaceful, sacred space of remembrance in North Kensington, a world-leading scientific research hub, a welcome centre on the site of an 11th century abbey - some of the latest architecture competitions and contracts from across the industry

Latest: Design a memorial to the 72 victims of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire

On Bond Bryan and SimpsonHaugh's Manchester College project different teams of building professionals using a range of BIM products were able to co-ordinate with the architects' preferred Archicad model

Open BIM workflows power Manchester College project

Green facades, environmental materials and modern architecture as viewed through windows: three fascinating books packed with valuable information

Three fascinating books packed with valuable information