The realisation of Ripple Retreat, a retreat for children with cancer and their families, funded by charity, It’s Good 2 Give was down to the co-operative effort of design, architecture, planning, conservation and engineering professionals.
It is highly unusual to be granted permission to build on the shoreline within Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The project, led by internationally award-winning architect, Tony Kettle of Kettle Collective, represented a rare opportunity to design a unique space for families to escape from the challenges of illness. It is a place for families to relax and enjoy time together.
Two fundamental principles guided our approach to the landscape design, each of equal importance. First, it had to form a sensitive and unifying link between Kettle’s design and the surrounding natural environment. We wanted to anchor the building within the beautiful landscape in as respectful and natural a way as possible that met with the strict guidelines of the National Park.
The landscape design is as a reflection of the building on the site; each of the deep bands of naturalistic planting align with the large windows, the intersecting pebble bands follow the lines of the iroko wooden panelling and the boardwalk of yellow sandstone planks mirrors the rippling roof profile, gently guiding people to the loch and Kettle’s curvy jetty.
Second, our design had to fulfil the promise to create a garden of fun, filled with temptations. Sound cushions are placed secretly between the bands of planting inviting children to play out tunes as they jump between them. A zip wire whizzes past the trees and an accessible basket swing swings high towards the loch beyond. Quiet, naturally-formed, nooks in trees were purposefully left untouched to provide quiet spots to find some peace.