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House No. 7

House No. 7

Private Winner 2014

Location: Tiree, Scotland
Client: Private
Architect: Denizen Works
Structural Engineer: CRA
Main contractor: John MacKinnon Builders
Wood supplier: James Donaldson & Sons
Wood species: Scottish spruce glulam, Scottish larch and reclaimed pitch pine

Denizen Works were commissioned in October 2010 to produce a design for a new 3-bedroom house on the site of a ruined, B-listed black-house on the Isle of Tiree on the west coast of Scotland. They developed a concept that comprises two houses, a Living-house and a Guesthouse, linked by a Utility wing. Together the elements combine to create a bold insertion into the landscape while reflecting the character and heritage of the island.

The cottage (Guesthouse) is built using traditional timber frame techniques, but the roof of the Utility block and the Living House are structured using a CNC cut spruce Glu-Lam frame. The shape and form of the structure was developed through a careful analysis of the local vernacular. Having decided on these curved forms, the architect then debated the best method of construction to create a robust island living environment that was sustainable, strong and most importantly easily shipped over on a Cal-Mac ferry.

Denizen Works developed a solution that split the roof portions along the apex to allow for ease of transport and connection on site. This allowed the contractors to erect the frame quickly and safely in the inclement weather.

In addition to the Glu-Lam frame, the internal finishes are worthy of note as the architect used pine of differing characters internally. Pine tongue and groove boards are prevalent throughout the highlands and islands and the architect decided that using this traditional material in a slightly different way could give an interesting internal feel while still being relevant to the islands. With this in mind, there is a pitch-pine worktop, pine skirting boards used as the cladding to the ceilings of two of the main spaces and the sculptural stairs to the hall. These stairs were laid like Jenga blocks on site after being milled to size from reclaimed Victorian pitch pine beams.