Text description provided by the architects. 1. What were the inspirations and key concepts for the development of the project? This is a house for a couple who have farmed on the banks of Loch Tummel for many years. They purchased a narrow plot closely bounded by river and road and occupied by a ruined building, previously a flax mill. Both ourselves and the client wanted to avoid the demolition of the mill walls as far as possible and to build in and around them.
2. What were the difficulties, or first setbacks encountered? A relatively small footprint could be located within the space defined by the original ruin. The upper level was then set above the height of the existing stone walls, and cantilevers beyond the lower storey by a distance of 4m, dramatically projecting out over the river bank. The steel structure was not easy for the contractor to install within the correct tolerances, but by using this strategy it avoids the need to install a concrete structure into the unstable ground of the river embankment.
3. What were the construction techniques and the principal materials used in the project? The overall aesthetic is utilitarian: the cantilevered steel ring beam is expressed as a horizontal element on the facade and above and below this beam are panels of glazing and horizontal larch boards. The cladding is edged with aluminium trims that break up the façades into bays and a pitched roof is covered in galvanised, profiled metal sheet.
4. Explain briefly: spatial configuration and main reasons. How was it accomplished? The entrance to the house is under the overhang of the upper storey, which also provides a covered dining and gathering space. A centrally located stair leads off the entrance hallway to the upper level, with the kitchen/ dining space at the east end and the living space at the western end, with views down the river valley and through the tree canopy.