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Bespoke Gairloch home to frame Highland landscape

April 27 2020

Bespoke Gairloch home to frame Highland landscape

Highland Council has received plans to build a bespoke home on the footprint of an existing bungalow at Craig Aird, Badachro.

Led by Tinto Architecture with David Narro Associates the detached dwelling would sit in a former fishing village on the shore of the Gairloch in Wester Ross, occupying a natural harbour with expansive water views. Set within secluded woodland the project aims to capitalise on views across the loch while integrating a home working space, working within the current footprint to minimise earthworks and disruption.

Orienting key spaces to the south this approach will maximise solar gain with large vaulted ceilings framing landscape views.

Finished in charred timber cladding and Caithness stone, chosen for their ability to weather naturally, the property follows the local vernacular while providing a contemporary twist of its own with each material defining a specific volume of the home.

Outlining their contextual approach the architects wrote: “Traditionally, buildings have been designed to provide shelter from the often harsh climate and security for the occupants, whilst building groups have relied on structures including walls and landscape features to provide shelter and enclosure. Some of the more recent developments in the Highlands have been unsympathetic to this historical development pattern or building style and are consequently ill-fitting within the context of the Highlands.

“The designs proposals demonstrate a beautiful family home that is unique and of a spatial quality that is generous, striking and adaptable for future use.”

Built into the natural slope of the shoreline a walkway will wrap around the east wing of the house, opening onto a lochside balcony, with additional bedrooms provided on the lower ground floor.

A matching detached garage forms part of the brief
A matching detached garage forms part of the brief
Existing woodland will be retained
Existing woodland will be retained


#1 Posted by ArchTJW on 27 Apr 2020 at 16:02 PM
I'll be interested to see if the Planners insist on changing the Caithness stone to 'Torridonian' sandstone like they did for another bespoke house on the southern side of Badachro.
If so I also wonder if they will offer the same advice on how to source it - see if a local crofter is willing to demolish old outbuildings and let the builder take it what you can salvage
Nairn's Bairn
#2 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 28 Apr 2020 at 10:41 AM
#1 If sandstone is required they'll likely end up at Denfind or similar, arguably a lot further geographically that Caithness.

This is an interesting design of two halves - a Dualchas house containing living space sitting on some serious underbuilding containing office and spare bedrooms, like it was originally designed for a level site. It does break up the bulk of it though.

With six bathrooms (for five bedrooms) over three floors, whoever ends up cleaning this place is going to be loving their job.

As with a lot of planning images, no rainwater disposal has been shown (hopefully they'll steer clear of the notoriously leaky secret gutter option) but in any case it will be interesting to see how the seamless eaves arrangement works in reality.
Andy Davidson
#3 Posted by Andy Davidson on 28 Apr 2020 at 21:09 PM
Love it. A real masterclass piece of work from the vision guy. It will be interesting to see if this gets built or whether the current climate will be his victim.
Bill S
#4 Posted by Bill S on 28 Apr 2020 at 22:18 PM
Looks good. Always nice to see a site contextual response to a new build dwelling. Hopefully the Clients will see the concept through to completion and with a competent Contractor, the marriage of stone, charred timber and metal roof cladding could be brilliant. Definitely a place to enjoy seclusion.
#5 Posted by Badachno on 30 Apr 2020 at 16:13 PM
#3 it's a masterclass in gluttony. There is just far too much of everything and it is poorly conceived.
Diamond Don
#6 Posted by Diamond Don on 1 May 2020 at 13:04 PM
As with many of these slick visuals, the detail is often overlooked, such as verge details, gutters, flashings etc. Overlooking these at stage one can invariably result in bulky industrial-looking site fixes, spoiling the end result.
Rich Tinto
#7 Posted by Rich Tinto on 2 May 2020 at 10:49 AM
Eames - the details are not the details, they make the design .... budget in place to realise this one ... stay tuned :)
#8 Posted by redbedlington on 2 May 2020 at 11:00 AM
That is truly hideous. What an absolute eyesore. Did the architect take no inspiration from the local cottages and houses?

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