Home & Interior Scotland – Luxe Edition 2020
A dazzling home in Skye inspired by London’s bold architecture
This new build in Skye is both utterly eye-catching and almost invisible – the perfect blend for its awe-inspiring surroundings.
There’s a reason why almost 20 per cent of all the houses on Skye are holiday homes. Easy access from the mainland, sublime views in every direction, a starring role in some of the biggest films and TV shows in recent years, and the kind of dramatic weather that looks like a time-lapse video happening in real time, the island is proof that when it comes to property, location is everything. What might be more surprising to discover is that among the recent new-builds is some of the most interesting residential architecture in Britain.
It wasn’t always like this, of course. For a long time, Skye felt remote, and few new homes deviated from traditional forms. Now, though, the island is dotted with a smorgasbord of modern designs, some of which really must have tested the planning department and the local population. There is enormous respect for the landscape here, though, and the majority of self-builders and architects have taken care to honour that in their plans.
Alan Dickson, director of Portree-based architecture practice Rural Design, went one step further. Taking the notion that ‘landscape is king’, he turned conventional architecture on its head in order to make his latest design disappear into the terrain.
His clients had bought a site in the north-west of the island that had planning permission specifically for a build close to the road. This, he knew, would limit what could be created. “We knew the planners would want something traditional if the house was close to the road and therefore visible.
“It’s a sloping site, though, so we looked at ways to build at the bottom of the incline, out of sight, which would allow us to be more creative.”
This was even more important since the owners had told him they liked the kind of bold commercial buildings that have popped up in London in recent years – shiny and commanding and full of confidence.
Could such a look translate to the Hebrides? They asked Dickson to explore ways of taking a statement design and placing it unobtrusively in a rural location.
Article from Homes & Interior Scotland Article – Words Catherine Coyle