Woodland homes to bring colour & variety to Braemar
May 21 2021
John Gilbert Architects are leading plans to build a collection of 15 affordable eco-homes within the Cairngorms village of Braemar on behalf of a community-run charitable company. A sensitive site surrounded by designated ancient woodland has been selected for the build with its designers stressing they will do their utmost to prevent unnecessary damage to the environment while also continuing to permit access for walkers.
In the process, Norway spruce will be felled with remaining native trees utilised as community-managed woodland. This will allow vital new homes to be built in an area facing extreme pressure from tourism with the number of holiday homes in the village significantly impacting available stock.
Three blocks of homes are proposed to provide a suitable accommodation mix comprising houses, flats and terraced cottages aligned to serve as a natural extension of the village.
Observing a discrepancy between stereotypical views of Cairngorms architecture and the reality on the ground John Gilbert Architects wrote: "Like the idea of a prevalent 1.5 storey detached cottage, the prevailing idea of materials in Braemar is one of stone properties with a slated roof. The reality is much more varied, interesting and colourful!"
Stressing the importance of individual identity the architects go on: "Regardless of the colours chosen, each terrace must have its own identity. We have designed the group so that each block has not only a slightly different internal layout, but also a corresponding form and arrangement externally, such as balconies. However, there is no doubt that separate and individual colours are a major part of this differentiation.
"It is easy to imagine that people will refer to these houses as something like 'I live in the green terrace at the front.' From working in social housing for 30 years, we all know as architects that part of our role is to give a place a little identity and uniqueness."
In response, colour coordinated homes will be cludtered around a 'warm centre' with colder tones to the exterior, the specific hues taking their cue from the woodland environment.
With the necessary consents in place, tree removal could begin later this year with homes ready for occupation late in the following year. The project team includes Raeburn Farquhar Bowen, Design Engineering Workshop and NBM.
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