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Cantilevered home strikes the right balance in Perthshire

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December 4 2020

Cantilevered home strikes the right balance in Perthshire

A long-abandoned Flax Mill near Loch Tummel, Perthshire, has served as the genesis for a dramatic £220k cantilevered home in balance with nature.

Governed by a desire to retain as much of the 1m thick dry stone walls as possible the design solution adopted by Taylor Architecture Practice sees only the unstable walls to the south and west removed, retaining a minimal footprint for new build, constrained further by a river embankment.

These limits guided the development of a cantilevered upper floor which maximises the available floorspace by oversailing the fall in level, delivering a gravity-defying living space in the process.

Explaining the site-specific approach TAP wrote: "The cantilevering design that was developed creates a dynamic composition, as the upper volume projects over the mill and the river edge. It is also pragmatic in that it avoids the need to install a concrete structure into the unstable ground of the river embankment and provides a covered entrance and outdoor dining space."

Expressing the cantilevered steel ring beam as a horizontal element in the facade the home is finished in panels of glazing and horizontal larch boards edged with aluminium trim.

On the western side, the steel structure is left exposed internally and set back from the glass wall to make the most of the views across the valley to Schiehallion.

A light touch approach sees the building tip-toe in the landscape
A light touch approach sees the building tip-toe in the landscape
Deft negotiations with planners saw the mill designated as rural brownfield land, facilitating development
Deft negotiations with planners saw the mill designated as rural brownfield land, facilitating development

Photography by David Barbour
Photography by David Barbour
Steelwork is left partially exposed internally
Steelwork is left partially exposed internally

Structural gymnastics surmount the precarious positioning
Structural gymnastics surmount the precarious positioning
The outline of Schiehallion can be discerned through the tree canopy
The outline of Schiehallion can be discerned through the tree canopy

4 Comments

Jamie Brown
#1 Posted by Jamie Brown on 5 Dec 2020 at 18:40 PM
Very impressive. What a site!
Saywhatyousee
#2 Posted by Saywhatyousee on 6 Dec 2020 at 19:03 PM
Great site and interesting idea but the final result looks disappointingly odd. The proportion and detail of the upper section make it look like an elevated mobile home...which is clearly supported on those humongous beams...not reliant on any sophisticated ‘structural gymnastics’..
Fat Bloke on Tour
#3 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 6 Dec 2020 at 22:54 PM
Static caravan that has lost its wheels.
The whole design reeks of trying too hard to be different.

A more sophisticated approach might have worked but it lacks depth and continuity.
Nairn's Bairn
#4 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 8 Dec 2020 at 17:40 PM
You've seen the end of The Italian Job? This is the architectural equivalent.

It will be SER'd to within an inch of its life and be very solid I'm sure, but there's always something a bit uneasy about this kind of thing.

If you absolutely must go for wow factor though, at least make sure it's well detailed - this just looks like a caravan's props have been washed away.

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