10th April 2020
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Plans for new bird observatory lodged with council

Images of the proposed new Fair Isle Bird Observatory emerged this week, as a Glasgow architecture firm lodged plans with Shetland Islands Council.

Architects ICA has been handed the task of designing the new observatory and guesthouse which will be constructed to replace the previous building which was devastated by a blaze almost a year ago.

The firm says it is well equipped for the task in hand, insisting it has vast experience in delivering projects in “challenging, isolated locations”.

Lead architect Steven Byrne said the project came as a complete contrast to the other job he had on at the moment – a major hotel development in London.

“I am delighted that the planning application has now been submitted for the vastly important Fair Isle Bird Observatory on Fair Isle,” Mr Byrne said.

“I am privileged to work on such a unique project – and it is certainly in contrast to the large-scale hotel development project for CitizenM in Victoria, London, where I am also currently project architect.

“The nature of the Fair Isle project includes a community aspect, meaning that it will have a significant positive impact to the island as a whole.

“This makes it a real joy to be involved in.”

The fire in March last year completely destroyed the building, which had only opened nine years previously.

No-one was injured in the blaze but the blaze threatened the social and economic welfare of one of the UK’s most remote inhabited islands.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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