While at Dualchas Architects Photography by Huntley Hedworth

Scotasay sits in East Loch Tarbert, Harris close to Scalpay. The client had spent his childhood holidays on the islands fishing and walking and mucking about on boats. When he approached us in his middle age he had been using the old rotten cabin on the island for extended breaks. His doctor and family began to complain about the state of the cabin so he decided to build new. The island had a water tank filled from the sky, a rudimentary drainage system and no power.

The design of the new house, now called ‘The Golden Cabin’ is in the form of a water collector with a butterfly roof and is a collection of 4 cabins linked by a top glazed corridor and an open deck. The deck links the old pier and the existing shed and croft house and is used for entertaining, cooking and diving into the lagoon. The house sits on a steel frame cantilevering over the lagoon and is lined in birch faced ply to avoid wet trades. It is powered by a 5kw wind turbine and a log boiler and PV panels are planned. The house is heavily insulated and heated for the most part by passive solar gain and the wood burner and range which is used for cooking when needs be.

“There were revisions and alterations and at all times Mary Arnold Forster was patient, professional and sensitive… I don’t think the project could have been realised to the extent it was without Dualchas Architects and Mary Arnold-Forster and my choice of them to design and execute my project was the very best I could have made.”