West Highland Way
Internal Floor Area
96 vertical timber posts represent the 96 miles of the West Highland Way.
The first officially designated long-distance path in Scotland, the West Highland Way runs for 96 miles (154 km), from the town of Milngavie in East Dumbartonshire to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.
Throughout the year, walkers from around the world converge on Milngavie to embark on the Way, but until now a tarmac ramp and blank gable, leading through a service yard, have made for an inauspicious start to such a scenic walk. The proposal enhances the setting-off point for the walk, by offering photo opportunities and glimpses of the landmarks and vistas populating the route.
The project to transform this neglected area of the town was led by the community group Milngavie BID, with widespread support from local authorities, businesses, and residents: the gracious hosts on whom the West Highland Way depends.
The scheme is comprised of three elements: at the top of the ramp is a large ‘welcome panel’, with two walkers pointing the way. Then, as the ramp crosses the Allander Water, the key element of the installation is revealed: a 25m long artwork in a restrained palette of corten steel and timber, screening the existing gable from view. Ninety-six timber posts, representing the total mileage to Fort William, are grouped into sections of the walk. Between each cluster, 750x2000mm demountable corten panels have been routered and layered with illustrations and milestones. Private ownership of the adjacent property prohibited fixings into the gable, a technical challenge overcome with a discreet fixing strategy into the concrete upstand. At the bottom of the ramp, a new screen of timber and corten guides walkers away from the service yard, encouraging passage along water’s edge. The final element, a freestanding introductory panel, faced with a silhouette of the route northward, overlooks the ramp from an elevated position on Douglas Street.
“The design process was challenging but each hurdle was met with an enthusiastic and positive attitude from Page\Park, who have taken our conceptual idea and turned it into something the town of Milngavie can be very proud of.”
Graeme Ross Milngavie BID Chairperson