Sistema Scotland transforms the lives of vulnerable young people through music. My aim was to provide a safe and inspiring environment for these students. The Stage 3 project addresses both the practical and the poetic aspects of placemaking while creating a residential retreat and performance hall. My intention was to link past, present and future by placing my proposal on an old, existing public pier in Balloch, on the shores of Loch Lomond. The buildings needed to be responsive to the local and cultural context of their setting. By using the old pier the buildings are already ingrained within the existing framework of the village and provide continuity, a connection to history and a sense of place. The creation of a ‘retreat’ as a place of rest and nurture was paramount. Incorporating the Maid of the Loch prompted my decision to extend the pier over the Loch in order to take advantage of the spectacular scenery and enhance what already exists. Level changes heighten the sensory experience: the performance hall descends towards the water, adding drama and establishing a visual connection to the outside; the viewing platform ascends, showcasing the landscape. The idea of duality was important to my concept: the need for private and performance spaces; and the natural and built environment co-existing in harmony.