paper igloo architecture and design

balintombuie barns

rural context

low energy house

residential conversion

new build + extension

previously derelict barn

These 2 derelict barns are located in a spectacular rural location in the Highlands of Scotland. Once used to house livestock they are now to be converted into 2 distinctive and unusual high quality homes. They sit on either side of an un-named tributary of the River Moriston, facing a stunning mountainous landscape to the south beyond.

The first barn is an L-shape in plan, and features a sizeable timber-clad extension which is to replace a previous block-built structure that didn't survive last winter's high winds. The gable end of the extension leans out towards the south to create a protective over-hang that shields the main living spaces from the high summer sun. The existing corrugated metal roof is to be replaced with high quality slates, and the existing granite stonework is to be re-pointed with lime mortar. Between the 'old' and the 'new' there is a glazed slot window that runs up and over the roof, delineating the break between the two structures with a line of light.

Internally this barn is organised via a service core with spaces around it: this core is clad in timber and articulated as a distinct box that sits centrally in the space linking the 'old' and 'new' areas of the dwelling together.

The second barn, also an L-shape in plan, is to be extended vertically to become a 1 1/2 storey dwelling, with white rendered walls and a new slate roof.  Several timber clad 'pods' project from the building line echoing and linking the two barns together, whilst guiding the occupant's vision towards specific views and features of the landscape beyond.

Together these two proposals illustrate the possibilities that exist when building in a rural location. Their forms are familiar and domestic in scale, echoing the local vernacular, whilst their details retain a sharp and contemporary edge which sets them apart.

Planning permission has been gained for both of these conversions and the Building Warrant is currently underway for one building.