Loch Leven Bird Hide

ICOSIS Architects

This new bird hide on the west bank of Loch Leven near Kinross was designed and installed as part of a phase of works extending the perimeter path around the loch shore. The design is part hide, part bridge and part screening providing an enclosed viewing platform overhanging the loch, whilst reducing noise and visual disturbance to wildlife from the path. All constructed from Scottish Douglas Fir and Larch, with viewing apertures lined in Oak, which was also used to form shelves and benches. The foundations for the hide sit on the shoreline of the loch, which required a temporary water-filled coffer dam to enable the installation of the three pre-cast concrete bases. The screen was required to be both visually solid and yet open to reduce wind loading and was designed using hit & miss square edged cladding both sides, the open gaps between boards carefully offset on each side to restrict visual disruption to birds on the loch. The structure and inner visible faces of the screen were also stained black to emphasize the horizontality of the external boards and this element folds in across the bridge and wraps around the interior to form the internal lining to the bird hide. The hide was constructed in panels off-site with the inner frame of each panel stained black and pre-clad externally, which was dis-assembled and re-erected on site in order to reduce time and minimise disruption to wildlife during assembly at the loch. All fixings used were stainless steel to reduce the likelihood of corrosion, and screws and bolts, rather than nails, were specified both to reduce noise and to aid the replacement of any timbers in future years. The project was given the Edinburgh Architectural Association Small Building Award, the Scottish Design Award for best Low Cost Project, an RIAS Award for Architecture, a Wood for Good / Forestry Commission Scotland Award - Commendation, and was shortlisted for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award and the UK Wood Awards 2012.


Loch Leven Bird Hide
United Kingdom


Euan Millar
Director / Architect


The Rural Access Committee of Kinross-shire (TRACKS) / Scottish Natural Heritage