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Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre

Location: Inverness-shire

Officially opened: 16 April 2008

Cladding: European Larch

Designed by: Gareth Hoskins Architects (GHA)

Photographs: courtesy of GHA, National Trust For Scotland,


European Larch heartwood was chosen for the timber cladding that is such a feature of this building


Commissioned by the National Trust For Scotland following a design competition won by Gareth Hoskins Architects, this building commemorates the last major battle to take place on British soil.

Its opening in April 2007 took place on the anniversary of the battle as part of Scotland’s Year of Highland Culture. This £9 million, 2,300 sq. metres project houses a major exhibition, educational and conference facilities, a 240 cover café/restaurant, gift shop and staff accommodation. A roof top viewing platform provides uninterrupted views across this moorland site and burial place for 1,800 who died in the battle. The wave effect configuration of the roof is symbolic of government troop lines during the conflict.

The visitor centre was designed to have low environmental impact visually and operationally and uses materials sourced locally.  European Larch heartwood was chosen for the timber cladding that is such a feature of this building.

It was sourced from FSC accredited forests in Scotland. The heart wood of larch is a reddish-brown colour and is rated in British Standards as being durable enough to provide a 30-year service life without the need for a wood protection process. When sapwood cannot be excluded then preservative treatment is required.

A leach resistant industrial flame retardant treatment was used on external cladding. Larch experiences only small levels of movement due to moisture content change and, as one of the densest of all softwood species, is an ideal material for a public building in a tough, weather exposed, environment.