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Off-grid Highland home named RIBA house of the year

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November 29 2018

Off-grid Highland home named RIBA house of the year

The Royal Institute of British Architects have named a West Highland home as its House of the Year 2018 following a nationwide competition.

Lochside House, designed by Haysom Ward Millar Architects, won over the herarts and minds of judges courtesy of its highly sustainable nature which sees the self-sufficient home powered by solar energy and supported by its own water supply.

RIBA president Ben Derbyshire commented: “With a highly sustainable, off-grid approach to energy and water, it leaves the surrounding environment as undisturbed as possible.

"Every detail has been fine-tuned to create an exceptional home and studio that meets the needs and wishes of its artist owner."

Judges were also wowed by the homes relationship with nature through an innovative use of timber, providing the perfect setting for the artist owner’s art collection.

Photography by Richard Fraser

Despite its remote setting the home the home makes no compromises on comfort
Despite its remote setting the home the home makes no compromises on comfort
Drone photography by Adam Bennett
Drone photography by Adam Bennett

The artist client has already experienced an early blast of winter
The artist client has already experienced an early blast of winter
The home was built by Spey Building and Joinery
The home was built by Spey Building and Joinery

The homes symbiotic relationship with surrounding scenery was singled out for praise
The homes symbiotic relationship with surrounding scenery was singled out for praise

21 Comments

Jonathan
#1 Posted by Jonathan on 29 Nov 2018 at 10:36 AM
Beautiful house and well done to Haysom Ward Millar Architects (and your client) for creating something stunning. Not a bit site to work with though!

What a contrast to last years winner (a huge expensive mega house that although was very nice looked more like a museum).
From elsewhere on the colony
#2 Posted by From elsewhere on the colony on 29 Nov 2018 at 11:06 AM
Er... I am sorry (I know there's nowt here not to like) but, what planet is this building on?

Speaking of social relevance, I see the RIBA have given this its approval.
Bless them.

(...what the pictures don't show of course is the lie of it. For this you have to go to the website and see the photograph of 20 or so brightly coloured PLASTIC Kayaks parked on the shore. So much for 'sustainability' yah... ''leaving the surrounding environment as undisturbed as possible''. Right, then.)
MV
#3 Posted by MV on 29 Nov 2018 at 11:20 AM
This looks incredible. Well done Haysom Ward Millar Architects.

As for Kayaks #2.... paper kayaks are really rubbish... and I don't know what kayaks have to do with architecture. I also feel very sorry for people like you that cant say "this looks great" and feel the necessity to use a double negative "Theres nowt here not to like". Go see your doctor, get some help.
From elsewhere on the colony
#4 Posted by From elsewhere on the colony on 29 Nov 2018 at 11:53 AM
Dear MV, Thank you for your kind thoughts. I really appreciate it. So just for you, from a 'person like me', - This looks great!

And?
Is that it?

(my simple point was that claims to sustainability re architecture also includes the economic) - so if the the kayaking business is part of the dwelling then why not include it and that image as part of the story. Or, would that image just muddy the perfect looking good and ''relationship with nature'' narrative?
Yeh, I thought so.
Go read a book, get some knowledge on The Photographic Paradox.
StyleCouncil
#5 Posted by StyleCouncil on 29 Nov 2018 at 12:17 PM
Love it. Stunning house.
Nairn's Bairn
#6 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 29 Nov 2018 at 12:55 PM
Nice.

Regarding the sustainability points above, obviously if it really was close to ones heart then you wouldn’t build a new house at all (unless on a brownfield site) but if one must build a holiday home in a beauty spot then any mitigation is good.


boaby wan
#7 Posted by boaby wan on 29 Nov 2018 at 13:22 PM
after last the winner last year, this is more like it!
Modest and understated, who knows they might actually be second hand kayaks saved from landfill.
There are so many nice touches in this, it's always great to see a small project where the budget has actually managed to deliver the ground works and external finishes.
Well worthy winner imo
Fat Bloke on Tour
#8 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 29 Nov 2018 at 14:50 PM
Some interesting details and a very comprehensive design that tries hard to deliver on the design brief but ...

Too fussy, too complex and too self indulgent -- upper middle class ego trip rather than a real solution to a genuine housing problem.

Interesting but ultimately a real world fail.
Competition click bait.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#9 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 29 Nov 2018 at 14:52 PM
On a positive note -- The design has elements of "Shed 7" design done correctly and with a little bit of emotion.
Nairn's Bairn
#10 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 29 Nov 2018 at 16:40 PM
The off-grid thing is being romanticised here, possibly to score points with the city based judges. For much of the Highlands a private water supply is the norm (boreholes/springs/streams), and given that the site is a short stagger from the Torridon Hotel then presumably opting for self-sufficient electricity was a lifestyle choice.

On the plus side you’ll always be sure of a hot meal and a pint if those PV panels let you down!
Muppet Watch
#11 Posted by Muppet Watch on 29 Nov 2018 at 17:31 PM
#8 Alarming and unnecessary exposure of your own lack of self-esteem and prejudice.
Not a lot of quality in social housing these days sadly, as demonstrated by the crap on this web site. I'd love to know what you are personally doing to resolve this? rather than just spouting your continual and very tiresome bile...
Architecture should be taken for what it is, not what (you) think it stands for.
Neil McAllister
#12 Posted by Neil McAllister on 29 Nov 2018 at 18:18 PM
How ever much we try (and there is some really excellent social housing being built among all the rubbish) mass housing is never going to win "House of the Year" nor should it. "House of the Year" is by definition exceptional - and exceptional by definition is the exception not the rule. Yes we need to keep pushing the baseline quality up but there is no reason to object to the peaks just because they are the peaks.
Fact checker
#13 Posted by Fact checker on 29 Nov 2018 at 19:50 PM
Hmmm isn't this stretching the rules a bit? A holiday home for wealthy folk a few times a year is House of the Year? Proper suggestions on a postcard to the usual address....
MV
#14 Posted by MV on 29 Nov 2018 at 22:13 PM
Dearest FEOTC.

Thank you for your initial positivity. It warms my heart, if only momentarily.

But... there ARE photos of the kayaks, if there hadn’t been, you wouldn’t know. Photo selection on a news article is hardly the buildings fault, neither is it the architects, nor the awards.

I think you need to put the books down... go get a warm hug off of someone.
Cadmonkey
#15 Posted by Cadmonkey on 30 Nov 2018 at 00:24 AM
#13 Factchecker
I think you make an interesting point but...
I am not sure if there is a Planning Use Class for “Holiday Home”. If so should this award be annulled?
When Scottish Independence happens will Royal Institute of British Architects become defunct?
Matt
#16 Posted by Matt on 30 Nov 2018 at 09:10 AM
Beautiful, site responsive project. Well done to the architects and clients.
Pity about the parochial, but entirely expected, comments regarding budget, class and politics. What a sad little insecure place Scotland can be.
Graham Jones
#17 Posted by Graham Jones on 30 Nov 2018 at 13:10 PM
There is much to enjoy in this project. It is a pity that some people can't be more positive - have a go at the stuff that has no ambition / is poorly executed.
Walt Disney
#18 Posted by Walt Disney on 30 Nov 2018 at 14:49 PM
Some plans might have been nice, but its a lovely gentle home. I don't understand the comments that its not social housing in Port Glasgow or a multi use community centre in Garthamlock. It is what it is and what it is is very nice indeed.

However, I think that local authorites should all relax their planning legislation just so we can all build our dream houses on lochsides on land that we bought at agricultural values.
Public Access Plans
#19 Posted by Public Access Plans on 30 Nov 2018 at 18:17 PM
#18 Plans located here https://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=MMJ8KVIH7R000
Inahuf
#20 Posted by Inahuf on 1 Dec 2018 at 09:00 AM
#13, try living up to your handle, it’s a permanent residence; the owner has her studio there (the tall building surrounded by snow on the photo)....
Fact checker
#21 Posted by Fact checker on 1 Dec 2018 at 13:08 PM
#20 one did - you need to dig deeper than this puff piece. oh RIBA website said Lochside House is at the side of a lake.....

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