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Arc Architects win Island Home design comp

March 3 2014

Arc Architects win Island Home design comp
Arc Architects have secured first prize in a Rural Housing Scotland competition to design an affordable island home, seeing off competition from over 50 entrants to secure first place.

The Fife based practice responded to a request to design a low-cost two bedroom home for the Hebrides that was both simple to build and with low energy demands – all for less than £100k.

Project architect Tom Morton earned the nod of judges who were won over by its low environmental impact, simple construction and minimal aesthetic, whilst also accounting for the needs of island life with a porch for wellies and an outdoor larder.

Announcing the winner at the housing body’s conference in Birnam, rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said: “I was impressed by the standard of designs submitted and congratulate Arc Architects. Housing is and will remain a priority for this Government and we will continue to invest in new affordable homes, which are particularly needed in rural areas.

 “It’s great to give some of Scotland’s top architectural talent the opportunity to showcase their skills in a competition which is full of good intentions.”

Community landowners across the Hebrides will now be consulted with a view to building the design in several locations, with the first homes planned for the Isle of Mull.


Partick Bateman
#1 Posted by Partick Bateman on 3 Mar 2014 at 11:07 AM
'rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said: “I was impressed by the standard of designs submitted and congratulate (name of winner)"'

Nothing like personal congratulations after you've designed a house for free. Sorry, designed a house to "showcase your talent".
Nice Personal touch
#2 Posted by Nice Personal touch on 3 Mar 2014 at 11:14 AM
Come on (name of rag), don't you read the stuff you post?
#3 Posted by SAndals on 3 Mar 2014 at 13:39 PM
Any more information about the winning design to stop me being underwhelmed by a timber clad, dual pitch shed with a patio door and a PV stuck on the roof?
#4 Posted by bonvivant on 3 Mar 2014 at 15:50 PM
The 'outdoor larder' with the innocent lamb peeking out is quite amusing.
#5 Posted by Robert on 3 Mar 2014 at 21:03 PM
I am sure the competition was well intentioned but it was a naive and flagrant waste of time for all involved. If an utterly conventional solution was sought, as appears to have been the case, then the organisers could easily have appointed an architect on the basis of browsing through a few practice websites rather than wasting probably thousands of consultant man hours for nothing. The cost of the speculative input from 50 practice could probably have paid for the first house or two but hey, that wasn't the organisers money so who cares!
#6 Posted by CADMonkey on 4 Mar 2014 at 10:44 AM
Well said Robert.
You probably had to pay to enter too.
If you want to be a happy architect - do not enter competitions.
#7 Posted by Stephen on 4 Mar 2014 at 21:55 PM
The competition system is pretty abhorrent anyway but this one was one of the worst I've seen. We didn't enter for that reason.
topy s
#8 Posted by topy s on 5 Mar 2014 at 10:07 AM
very refreshing - not many competitions where having a good place for the wellies tips the balance
#9 Posted by Danny on 5 Mar 2014 at 12:51 PM
What's the deal with the wooden sheep store?
Rem Koolbag
#10 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 5 Mar 2014 at 13:58 PM
It's just somewhere to store your wooden sheep Danny.
#11 Posted by CADMonkey on 5 Mar 2014 at 14:24 PM
There are 9 people, 7 birds and a sheep in this supporting image. The person hiding inside makes for an interesting play on scale.
Quite distracting from the eh...architecture.
big bert
#12 Posted by big bert on 5 Mar 2014 at 16:59 PM
Not quite sure who is taking the p???. The entrants or the judges! Maybe Rem K will tell me it's all in the timber detailing. haha
pat traynor
#13 Posted by pat traynor on 17 Mar 2014 at 11:12 AM
I am amazed that ANY architect would condemn a family to live in a "garage" with windows,which is how I see the winning design.Are you telling me,that in order to come within the £100.000 that this is the best Scotland can do? I think you had better look at some of the timberframe websites to see
how possible it is to build within a budget and still deliver on aesthetics, and insulation.For instance Zvensk,Solo,Scotframe,Fleming,and JML (to mention a few) all have discussed with me the building of our new "retirement" home,totally within budget, and with surprisingly no resemblance to the aforementioned abomination.(no personal insult intended) Also,surely,the logic of building "upwards" , even if it is only one & a half stories, must prevail ? I cannot think of a more sensible way to make a building look nice to come home to and deliver on living space. Or am I just being a sensible woman?
#14 Posted by MR on 10 Apr 2014 at 09:01 AM
my back is all wet from lying on the boggy back garden. Should've gone to that beach instead of picnicking in someones back garden.

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