Glenuig


The site is a densely vegetated steep north facing slope with views to Eigg and Rum. The house sits on a plateau 70m above sea level and is nestled against a rocky outcrop. Externally the composition is a collection of five carefully placed concrete boxes. The arrangement of the boxes subtly defines, arrival court, garden and private external terraces. The main house comprises of three boxes joined by a glazed link with the other two detached boxes containing a studio and a garage. The ‘living’ box is at the east end of the site to fully engage with the garden. The two bedroom boxes are placed beyond at the more private end of the site wrapping around the rocky outcrop with the external finish of horizontal board marked concrete echoing the strata of the rock. Each of the three boxes sits at different levels to respond to the undulations of the site.

The house comprises of external concrete shell and internal concrete portal frames which are carefully joined to avoid cold bridging. All the windows in the entire house are full height and have been carefully placed in a hit ‘n’ miss arrangement on plan so that each ‘room’ has a different view. The house is an instrument that draws long and short views together juxtaposing them within the same space, for example from the dining room the long view out to sea is contrasted with view of the large exposed rock in the south facing garden.

The ‘living’ box contains a generous open plan kitchen / dining / living room. Deep exposed smooth concrete beams define the zones so that each space feels like a complete room. This is derived from Louis Kahn’s theory that: “The room is the beginning of architecture….The plan is a society of rooms. The rooms relate to each other to strengthen their own unique nature.” Expressed elm rafters span between the deep concrete beams. Skylights are cut over the concrete beams so that light filters down between the timber rafters, etching striped hit ‘n’ miss shadows on the surface of the concrete. Between the fins of the portal frames is placed built-in elm furniture.The space culminates at its west end with a huge concrete fire place and corner window revealing the view.

The studio sits on a rocky outcrop compositionally acting as a watch tower to the arrival court. Internally it is a simple cube with a corner window and skylight orientated to give north light as well as views to the hills to the east.