‘Eye catching’ new exterior planned for Inverness Museum
Plans have been submitted to encase the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery with aluminium cladding to improve the environment in front of the castle in advance of the long term proposals for the castle and surrounding areas.
The Highland Council, working in partnership with High Life Highland, said the “bold, eye catching” cladding will enhance visibility of the existing building and will provide greater awareness of the museum to visitors and tourists.
Designed by local architects Three sixty Architecture, the cladding will be made from maintenance-free light sandstone coloured anodised, perforated aluminium to complement the neighbouring stone of the Town House building. Given the light reflective properties of the wrapping, it will change appearance throughout the day and night.
The perforation pattern has been designed to reflect a map of Inverness, the River Ness and Caledonian Canal and will be finished with perforated, varying circles and a mix of polished and matt surfaces. The panels will be back-lit using LED lighting to provide a graded glow through the perforations.
The cladding will be funded as part of the approved £3 million Inverness City Deal funding.
If approved, the proposals form part of the wider enhancement and regeneration of the city centre and will complement plans to improve Castle Wynd and the neighbouring north tower of Inverness Castle, as well as the recently completed River Ness flood alleviation and streetscape works.
The Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area, Councillor Helen Carmichael, said: “This is an exciting start to the regeneration of the city centre and the project to transform the Castle and surrounding area into an attractive place people want to spend time in. I think adding the cladding to a building which at the moment is easy to overlook, is an imaginative and creative way to quickly have an impact and make the heart of Inverness more attractive. If the application is approved, I will be looking forward to seeing the striking effect the eye-catching cladding will have.”
Ian Murray, chief executive of High Life Highland, said: “We are delighted with these proposals to highlight the museum and make it more obvious to visitors. We have recently changed the winter hours to 5 day opening and upgraded the café and shop to enable the museum to play a greater role in attracting visitors to this part of the city and holding them longer. We hope to do our part, along with the business community, to help Inverness thrive.”
Work is planned to commence in the late summer of 2016.