A house in the Scottish Highlands features a bent exterior that focuses on direct views of the sunrise and sunset. Built partially into the hillside, this timber home features gable ends on either side and a lowered roofline in the center to reduce the building’s mass and help reduce heat loss in the cold, foggy Scottish winter.
Inspired by the traditional gabled homes of the region, Raw Architecture Workshop came up with a plan that optimized the best possible views with a “splayed and cranked” layout. The concrete base was partially buried into the sloped site to provide natural insulation and climate control.
The concrete, dark-stained cedar exterior and wild grasses help the home blend into its environment, echoing the surrounding mountains and stormy skies.
Inside, the unusual layout creates a dynamic series of bright, open spaces that angle from one room to the next. Slices of glass highlight select landscape features in the distance.
More from the architects
“Over 2000 years ago the occupants of Skara Brae, Orkney used locally sourced materials to build partially submerged dwellings providing thermal insulation and protection from the storm battered climate. The weather definitely hasn’t improved, but for the most part the buildings remain intact. Incorporating these principles, Raw Architecture Workshop has completed a new build house on steeply sloping former rough grazing land at Camusdarach Sands.”
“The Clients, a young couple already living and working in this isolated location, were keen that we develop the proposals to capture the spectacular sun rise views over the mountains and sun set behind the islands. Given the topography of the site our early response was to locate the living spaces on the upper portion of the plot, with sleeping accommodation and entry level stacked below.”
“During an initial visit we pinpointed specific axis that would provide best views from the site. These were translated into physical models and the symmetrical, splayed and cranked plan was derived. Similar forms were also explored in the section to reduce the visual mass, significantly improve the field of view from opposite ends of the space and increase daylight levels, which are critical in mid-winter around this line of latitude. In time the wild grasses will re-grow around the building to further reinforce the idea of a building built into, and not on top of, the hill.”