RIBA names three Scottish projects on House of the Year shortlist

Newhouse of Auchengee has racked up two RIBA awards in quick succession
Newhouse of Auchengee has racked up two RIBA awards in quick succession

Three new homes in Scotland are among the 20 contenders for this year’s House of the Year Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

‘Edinburgh Road’ by A449 Ltd, Ann Nisbet Studio’s ‘Newhouse of Auchengee’ and ‘Fernaig Cottage’ by Scampton and Barnett Architects were all awarded a RIBA Award for Scotland 2017 and shortlisted for the coveted House of the Year prize.

The accolade is awarded to the best new house designed by an architect in the UK.

Last year, the award went to Richard Murphy’s house in Edinburgh, which boasts a folding corner wall, sliding bookshelf ladders that glide around a secret library and a roof terrace.

Edinburgh Road

Image by Matthew Johnson
Image by Matthew Johnson

There are very few sites which combine proximity to a major conurbation, coastal views of this quality and direct access to a beach. The clients inherited the site and determined that a partial re-build of the historic seaside steading, combined with a substantial new-build, would provide a unique, welcoming new home. The new, timber-clad, extension serves as a foil to the stone-built existing form. The extension houses double-height living, kitchen and dining spaces.

The house is accessed via a garden courtyard. Large glazed panels open up on the entrance elevation to the sheltered sun terrace. The windows on the beach frontage offer long views to the Fife and East Lothian coastlines and open onto the view.

Although set between a busy road and a public beach, this new home is simultaneously public and private, polite to its neighbours and deceptively large.

Contractor Gloss - Paul Rogers

Structural Engineer SDC - James Lewis/Paul Thomson

​Fernaig Cottage

Image by ScamptonBarnett
Image by ScamptonBarnett

As both clients and architects, the owners of this renovated, adapted and extended former shepherd’s cottage, were able to pursue an agenda which was about keeping faith with the character of the historic building they have re-purposed. Later, accretions were removed and the original stone walls retained.

A sympathetic sister building, more in keeping in both scale and form with the historic cottage, was subsequently created with a new, clearly defined, linear link. New red roofs echo the historic corrugated metal roofing which features throughout the Highlands.

The interior incorporates three compact bedrooms within the historic section, while the new building utilises the full height of what has been added, embraces the views and draws in the daylight. This client-architect team have, with gentle diligence, enhanced this remote little corner of Scotland.

Contractor Adam Macdonald, Adam Macdonald Building and Joinery (Skye)Ltd

Structural Engineer Expedition Engineering and IPM Associates

QS Expedition Engineering and IPM Associates

M&E Engineer Cundall

Architectural Assistant Marianna Filippou

Newhouse of Auchengee

Image by David Barbour
Image by David Barbour

This contemporary farmhouse pays homage to the aesthetic of historic farm buildings in this part of North Ayrshire. On an elevation, commanding long views over the agricultural landscape, the building is a cluster of separate spaces, reflecting the way that rural buildings were developed and extended over decades past.

On this windswept site the cluster is composed carefully to create shelter and in doing so, a captivating arrival sequence - the long drive up the hill set on axis with a pend that at first sight frames a view to the sky beyond and then leads to an entrance court. It is a composition that successfully controls the elements, captures views and mediates between the scale of the wider landscape and the intimate scale of the dwelling.

The main public spaces and bedrooms are set within a two-storey section with the master bedroom within a linear single-storey area and an annex, accessed via the courtyard, offering a further two bedrooms. The whole composition clusters around a three sided courtyard to the east and a sheltered terrace to the south-west.

The zinc external cladding reflects the light and cloud patterns of its elevated setting which plays upon a building which is contemporary, contextual and in harmony with the light and life of its locale.

Born out of careful research into the unique vernacular of North Ayrshire this is a project with a strong sense of place – truly a building of its landscape.

Contractor 3b Construction

Structural Engineer Peter Brett Associates

The 2017 RIBA House of the Year Award longlist follows the announcement of the 2017 RIBA National Awards which also saw Newhouse of Auchengee shortlisted alongside the City of Glasgow College’s City Campus by Reiach and Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects and the National Theatre of Scotland’s Rockvilla by Hoskins Architects.

The winner of the 2017 RIBA House of the Year Award will be announced this autumn.

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