Balloch Residential Music Retreat

A Force of Nature

Our location and setting continuously influence the decisions we make. This Residential Retreat design for SISTEMA Scotland, a charity who seeks to change the path of disadvantaged children and young adults through music, is centred around these influences of place. The town of Balloch translating to ‘mountain pass’ from the Gaelic word ‘bealach’ is situated in West Dunbartonshire on the South edge of the shores of Loch Lomond. This wider geological influence on the town is represented in the building forms as they represent the Boundary fault line of the lowlands and highlands.

The translation of the Gaelic name alongside the natural setting of the town resulted in the geological form of the two buildings. Balloch being the Gateway Town to the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is also of great significance within the design representing nature within the building. This is presented through a tree structural system within the two most natural communal areas of the buildings. These symbolise organic gathering spaces within a forest, a place where children seek to explore, providing the perfect setting for music, interaction, and play.

The connection of the buildings and their user to nature is further emphasised through the orientation and materiality, considering how the building design can utilise the site’s climate and local materials in the most efficient way.

Concept Diagram

site masterplan

Exploded Concept Axo

Performance Hall and Residential Building Floor Plan

Bedroom Visual

Section through residential building

Residential Building Shared Space

View across from performance hall

Stepped Cross section through both buildings

View from river

Performance Hall Visual

Performance Hall Perspective Section

Practice room Visual