Glasgow Mackintosh School of Architecture MSA Stage 3

Ellie Cunningham (she/her)

Reflections l Balloch

Reflections l Balloch

The design for the Sistema music retreat and performance hall is based on a desire to provide a safe, intimate environment for vulnerable children to retreat to in a beautiful landscape.

The design focuses on creating a strong connection with its environment, providing extensive views to the outside world, as well as multiple points of access to its surroundings – directly to the Loch’s shores. The project establishes a transparency through both buildings, giving transversal views in both directions taking advantage of its stunning location. This transparency is enhanced internally by void spaces, balconies and suspended walkways which allow visitors to catch glimpses of playful moments suspended in the treetops.

The form of the proposal takes inspiration from the linear nature of the site and aims to provide a new public space in which to interact with the historic nature of Balloch pier and jetty which juts out and disappears into the water. The various roof scapes of the proposal aim to subtly emulate the distant hills and provide various volumes suited for different activities.

The fins around the buildings give a regular, linear rhythm to the proposal as a whole. Externally these guide the path of circulation around the building and blur the line of internal and external by providing semi-sheltered spaces, while framing views to the Loch beyond.

Valley of Leven Leven Valley - water / infrastructure 1 : 5000

site map 1 : 200

Balloch Pier

Balloch Pier


Residential Retreat Section

Residential Retreat (Salon) Section

Residential Retreat Cross Section

Performance Hall Cross Section

Performance Hall Long Section

residential retreat - courtyard

Performance Hall

View From the Beach


Residential Retreat Structure - Exploded Axo

1 : 20 Section / Elevation