THE AHR LANDSCAPE TEAM WAS COMMISSIONED BY DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY COUNCIL TO ENHANCE SOME KEY APPROACH LOCATIONS ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF STRANRAER TO ASSIST WITH ONGOING INVESTMENT WHICH COUNTERS THE TOURISM AND ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE FERRY PORT TO NORTHERN IRELAND MOVING SEVEN MILES OUT OF TOWN TO CAIRNRYAN.
The first completed ‘Gateway’ is at the Balyett layby, adjacent to the A77 on the shores of Loch Ryan between the town and Cairnryan port. Formerly this was a layby containing a tired-looking, but popular snack bar known as ‘The Bunker’ but with magnificent, expansive views down the loch.
The popularity of the snack bar provided the site with an existing purpose. It is also a location to observe wading birds, the floating rafts of eider ducks and the more distant ferries arriving and leaving. The proposals have seen a significantly improved café with a simple but crisply detailed re-cladding, new flashings and ironmongery. This is complimented with a cantilevered companion pavilion providing shelter from the exposed locale, covered and uncovered seating and a binocular observation point. The pavilion uses the conceptual theme of framing the surrounding seascape in a similar way that ferry portholes do.