Developed in collaboration with Threesixty Architecture and Lightfolio, the proposals will also see the urban environment surrounding the building enhanced to make it safer and more attractive to visitors.
Under the plans, Castle Wynd would be pedestrianised, with a series of vertical metal “fins” proposed there, which would be of various heights, freestanding or wall mounted, and incorporating LEDs for a variety of lighting effects.
Through the installation of the illuminated fins, attention will be drawn away from the IMAG building and towards the streetscape, river, and castle. The lighting will be changeable and interactive, responding to specific events and festivals within the Highland capital.
As part of the works, the existing patchwork of signage and panels on the IMAG building will be removed and replaced with simple signage to complement the overall concept.
A design statement, lodged with the application, states: “Many of the areas to be addressed are in various states of disrepair, or present unsightly views to passers by.
“In particular, the service areas of both the Imag and Shapla Restaurant are fully visible to the public.
“The Castle Steps are currently not a desirable route for pedestrians due to their condition, and Castle Wynd currently prioritises vehicles over pedestrians.
“The Imag entrance location is not immediately apparent to visitors, and the signage does the building no favours.”
The statement adds: “The Castle Steps and Castle Wynd present an opportunity to create appealing pedestrian routes that connect Bridge Street (and the high street), the river, the castle, and the museum.
“The overall site is positioned in a central location and has the opportunity to make a significant visual impact on the heart of Inverness.”