This two-storey house is cut in to a rocky escarpment near Armadale in South Skye, overlooking the Sound of Sleat. It was deliberately located as close to the shore as practicable so as to make the most of site’s proximity to the sea and the stunning views.
The house functions as both a private home and a guest house. Entrance is at the upper floor, where there is a shared entrance lobby; to the right there is a guest lounge, with a staircase leading down to two en-suite guest bedrooms. To the left there is the homeowner’s accommodation, with a large open plan kitchen and living area on the upper floor and a master bedroom with bathroom to below.
The building envelope is wrapped in a black rubber. This is overclad in larch fins which acts as both a screen to give privacy and a means of simplifying the fenestrations. The timber is taken over the roof and extended out over an east facing balcony. As the larch weathers and the client plants more trees, this will allow the building to fade back in to the backdrop of the wooded shoreline.
Much of the design is about creating an element of surprise. The long elevation of the entrance screens the view of the bay on approach – so when entering the house, the wall of glass over the water is all the more dramatic. The full height patio doors to the bedrooms give an impression of floating above the water when the tide is in – the sound of the sea and the sense of being close to nature is a constant.
Further landscaping and planting by the client will happen over the next few months, with the building already being an important addition to the special visitor experience and modern architecture for which Skye is renowned.
Completion – November 2016
- Contractor – James MacQueen Builders, Skye
- QS – Jon Howarth Chartered Surveyor
- Structural Engineer – IPM Associates (Scotland) Ltd
- M&E – Sarah Johnston, Scottish SAP Assessor
- Photos: Peter McNally