paper igloo architecture and design

station road

new build

corner plot

contemporary design

historic village context

high level of sustainability



This proposal for a contemporary new build dwelling is on a prominent corner plot in the historic village of Killearn. The project was initially designed to the passivhaus standards. The building was also designed to meet the Gold level in Section 7 of the Technical Standards.

The unusual site demanded a high quality solution: there is an approximately 3m change in level across the plot due to it's history as a quarry pit. Evidence of this can still be seen in the exposed rocky face that splits the two levels of the site.

Our design maximises the potential of the site: an 'upside down' house makes the most of the split in level by utilising the quieter of the two adjacent roads for entry and parking, whilst allowing the large open-plan family orientated living spaces to capture the most sunlight and benefit from strategically placed openings that capture specific views. Access into the house is via a steel and timber bridge which connects the building to the upper level of the site and is simultaneously functional and fun.

The integrated gable terrace faces a striking view of the Trossachs between the adjacent rooftops, whilst two over-sized 4m wide glazed openings are contained within an extended dormer and capture the afternoon and evening sun - referencing the vernacular architecture but in a contemporary way.

There are some tall trees at several of the site boundaries so digital sunlight and daylight analysis was undertaken to ensure sufficient light to all of the key spaces at different times of the year, whilst maintaining a high level of thermal comfort that can be provided by a low energy dwelling.

The building is clad on both walls and roof in an open larch rainscreen which will be allowed to weather to a silver-grey colour over time, softening the building's appearance, and complementing the wooded backdrop of the site. 

This project began on site in autumn 2015.