Oban sets sail with a stunning new waterfront
A public space overlooking Oban’s breath-taking bay has been transformed, establishing itself as a focal point for marine-based activity and welcoming point for maritime visitors and businesses. The investment in Oban is part of Argyll and Bute Council’s CHORD fund, a multi-million–pound initiative to rejuvenate the area’s waterfront towns.
Hardscape played an integral role, working alongside architects from Capita (Carlisle) to deliver innovative hard landscaping that contributes to an attractive, vibrant and contemporary town centre, encouraging passers-by to sit, relax and enjoy the spectacular sea view.
Hardscape was tasked with helping create an inviting space running alongside the town centre’s dramatic, sweeping waterfront. Oban is preparing for more footfall with plans to build a visitor centre and new pontoon boat development. Therefore, an exciting new hub needed to be created – giving the area a unique and memorable identity.
The first phase of improvements along Stafford Street have provided the people of Oban with a fabulous terraced space to enjoy the views of the bay; a flexible open area for small scale events and a shelter with inlaid artwork and ornamental colour changing LED lighting. It was Hardscape’s role to retain and build on the sense of vibrancy and liveliness invoked by the colours of the artwork and lighting.
Magma granite paving was used to brighten up the pathways from their previous dark and dull appearance. The blended orange and red tones helped to give a dynamic yet warm feel to the walkway. Burlington stone walling and prima porphyry were used due to their traditional appearance which perfectly complements the architecture. The majestic purple tones and glittering crystals of the porphyry combined with the raw texture of the layered Burlington walling establish a truly unique look for Oban.
Hardscape also crafted a beautiful Artscape plaque commemorating both world wars with an iconic red remembrance poppy etched using bespoke Artscape techniques. The benches were sculpted out of Kobra granite and were crafted in a curved shape to reflect the sweeping tide.
Oban is expected to welcome an additional 5,600 boats and 22,000 people visiting the area when the berthing facility is complete. The berth will allow direct access to Oban and help generate economic benefits for the stunning refurbished town centre.
It was great to be a part of this regeneration and provide hard landscaping expertise and materials to complement such a beautiful waterfront. Oban is now well on its way to realising its potential as a marine destination.