Latest News

Dualchas at the V&A

By | Latest News

Dualchas are delighted that two of their houses, Colbost and Cliff House on the Isle of Skye, are being showcased in the new Victoria and Albert design museum in Dundee in a permanent exhibition.

Speaking at the official opening Dualchas director Alasdair Stephen said,  ‘It was a complete surprise to me that not only Dualchas but also a Hebhomes design had been selected to illustrate the strength of architectural design in rural Scotland.

‘It was a surprise to see stunning footage of Jason Bold’s house using drone camerawork, this was extra special.

‘I think it says a lot about the quality of our work that Dualchas has been selected for such a prestigious building’

Fraser Stewart who created the models on display said “It was a great pleasure to be invited to provide a pair of models which shows how Dualchas’ architecture integrates with the landscape. The timber massing models show how the simple forms sit within the contours of the site which are formed of cork. The pair of models show how a sensitive and respectful approach to site layout can lead to a holistic and considered architecture, peacfully integrating with its surroundings”

Fort William Cinema

By | Blog, Latest News

Press release

Skye-based design firm Dualchas Architects has been appointed to design a new cinema for Fort William. This will see a two screen cinema with a café/bar built in Cameron Square in the heart of the town.

The project has been developed by Highland entrepreneur Angus MacDonald, who has recently purchased the 1970s former studio cinema, now used by retailer DV8. This will be demolished and replaced with the new building. And according to Mr MacDonald, high quality design is central to the proposal.

“We are delighted to have appointed Dualchas as architects. Their reputation in selecting fantastic local building materials and their contemporary twist on Highland traditional building styles was very appealing to us. They have already produced a beautiful design concept which is being developed prior to it being presented to the local community.”

There have been several attempts in the recent past to get a cinema back in Fort William, which has not had a working cinema for 12 years. The plan is to offer a wide variety of films to the 20,000 locals and 440,000 annual visitors, as well as transform the square in to a beautiful public space.

Dualchas director Neil Stephen said,

“When you look at photographs of Cameron square prior to the town hall being demolished in 1975, you can see what an important focal point and public space the square used to be, and could be again. There are beautiful historic buildings within Fort William – our job will be to create a civic building and space which stitches in to the fabric of the built environment and provides a wonderful facility.”

Fort William is regarded as the “outdoor capital of the UK” due to the variety of outdoor sports that take place in the area, including mountain biking, hillwalking and skiing. However, it has lacked indoor recreational amenities – which are much needed due to the famously wet climate.

There is a proposed opening date for the new facility of the summer of 2020, with an expectation that ten full time equivalent jobs will be created. Initial proposals will be on public display from 11am to 7pm on the 3rd to 5th October at the current building in Cameron Square where Mr MacDonald will be present to discuss all aspects of the project with anyone who is interested.

Dualchas Arran Challenge Update

By | Blog, Latest News

We are well underway with our training and fundraising. We’ve now had to raise the target twice due to people’s overwhelming generosity. Currently the target sits at £4,000. With over 2 months to go until the event there is still plenty of time to donate.

Our biggest donation so far was raised by Julie Carley on Sunday at a gig by Sharon’s favourite band Dan reed Network. Lots of people in the audience that night contributed a staggering £340.

People are taking the challenge seriously and are taking every opportunity to squeeze in some training – whether that’s at lunchtime, after work or the weekend.


Click here for our fundraising page.

Jersey Planning Approval

By | Latest News

We were delighted to find out that our redevelopment of a beachfront site in Jersey has recently been granted Planning Permission.


The site already had Planning for a large house and the brief from our clients was to produce a building with less impact on the site and surrounding context.


We looked to reduce the mass of the building and to pull it away from the boundary wall to minimise impact on neighbouring properties.


The building that previously had consent had total footprint over two floors of 400m2. Our proposal has a total footprint of 250m2, which markedly reduces the impact on the site. This is particularly noticeable on the upper floors, with the new proposal being almost half the size.


We look forward to developing the design over the coming months and to expanding our work to other parts of the British Isles.

Togail Sùil – Martin on the radio

By | Latest News, Media

Martin Baillie, an architect from our Skye office, who is a fluent gaelic speaker featured on a BBC Radio nan Gàidheal episode.

Through this series ‘Togail Sùil’ Gilleasbuig MacDhòmhnaill speaks to people with an interest in Glasgow Architecture and asks guests to choose a building or typology and to discuss what makes it successful. In this, the first program in the series, Martin and Ian MacDiarmaid both choose ‘a priori’ urban typologies which attempted to redefine the fabric of the city.

Martin spoke about the Glasgow Tenement as the defining architectural feature of the city and its success in providing a flexible housing solution for the rapidly industrialising city, housing rich and poor and dealing with a variety of urban conditions. He discussed the lasting qualities of tenement architecture and its ability to adapt to modern living and to create attractive and scalable streetscapes. In the program they discussed this in relation to the Bruce Plan to demolish the tenements and the Brutalist architecture which was to replace it, with the Anderston Centre by Richard Seifert (now Cadogan Square) chosen by Ian as a particularly good example of the ambition shown by the urban planners of the 1960s to recreate the city and its way of life.


Click the image below to be taken to the episode on the BBC iPlayer site.

Dualchas Arran Challenge

By | Blog, Latest News


Our Dualchas & Hebhomes teams are putting in their best effort to raise funds for research into MS, a cause recently discovered close to our team.

We set our target to fund one whole working day of research by one of MS Society’s world-leading scientist – we trust that even a small contribution can make a big difference!

We will split into two teams and undertake one of the following challenges:

– 10km run up Goatfell (874m)

– 88km cycle loop / half a loop around Arran (depending on capabilities)

We do extensive work in rural areas and remote Scottish scenery is very close to us all. We will come together – both Glasgow and Skye office, and with the support of families and friends undertake a challenge that in most cases is over and above our current capabilities… We are keen to work extremely hard and we appreciate any donations, big or small.


Please click here to donate.

Staff Profile: Tony Scott Halbert, Architect

By | Latest News

What’s your name and job title?

Tony Scott Halbert, Architect

How long have you worked at Dualchas?

1 month

What do you do at Dualchas?

I am an architect, working as part of the Glasgow team to deliver high end bespoke projects for a variety of private clients.

Where are you from originally and how do you find living and working in Glasgow?

I grew up in Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland which looks on to the Isle of Arran. I moved to Glasgow when studying at the GSA: MSA and loved living and working in the city. I now commute from home in Ayrshire but still enjoy being able to take advantage of the vibrant design culture of the city.

What are you passionate about inside and outside of work?

I am passionate about vernacular architecture and the prospect of improving the building stock of Scotland. I also appreciate being able to help clients find a design they love. Outside of work, I enjoy Scottish poetry and try to dance whenever possible. I also love traveling to visit family and friends.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Architecture allows me to be creative. I like the idea that something tangible exists at the end of each day that wouldn’t otherwise.

What advice would you give to young person looking to enter into a career in architecture?

Some of my closest friendships were formed in architecture school so I would advise them to make the most of learning in such a close, creative environment. I’d also warn them about the hard work and late nights!

Staff Profile: Siân McGrath, Part 1 Architectural Assistant

By | Latest News

What’s your name and job title?

Siân McGrath, Part 1 Architectural Assistant

How long have you worked at Dualchas?

6 months

What do you do at Dualchas?

I work alongside the project architects, supporting and assisting them with current projects.

Where are you from originally and how do you find living and/or working on Skye?

Having moved around a lot I don’t consider myself to be from anywhere in particular! I have lived and studied in Germany, Shropshire, Glasgow, Lancaster, Canada and now beautiful Skye. Being constantly surrounded by spectacular scenery, waking up to Otters outside my window, watching sea eagles from the office… I think it’s safe to say Skye is quite an incredible place to both work and live… minus the ridiculous weather maybe.

What are you passionate about inside and outside of work?

With a background in biology, I have a stubborn passion for finding ways of combining the two disciplines.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Getting involved with a diverse range of projects in some unique and special locations within the Scottish Highlands and beyond. The view from the office window isn’t bad either!

What advice would you give to young women looking to enter into a career in architecture?

Never underestimate the importance of integrity. Always put that first.

Staff Profile: Sophie Rowland, Architect

By | Latest News

What’s your name and job title?

Sophie Rowland, Architect

How long have you worked at Dualchas?

1 year

What do you do at Dualchas?

As an Architect based in our Glasgow office, I am responsible for overseeing and running projects.

Where are you from originally and how do you find living and/or working in Glasgow?

I’m originally from the westcountry but moved to Glasgow 11 years ago. I love living here as it’s very culturally diverse with lots going on. It’s also a very well connected city, which makes accessing the surrounding countryside easy.

What are you passionate about inside and outside of work?

All things design related, as well as my garden.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Helping our clients realise their architectural ambitions, as well as travelling to the many interesting places in which we work. I also love sketching and designing with pen and paper.

What advice would you give to young women looking to enter into a career in architecture?

Be confident in yourself and your abilities, and don’t be afraid to question things.