AKA were approached in 2015 to design a contemporary rural dwelling which responded to its dramatic sloping site with fine views over the settlement of Glass in Aberdeenshire. On our first visit the site comprised 2 traditional cottages with their back to the road, steep banking to their front and a tree plantation to the north east.
By examining an old map from 1871 we ascertained that the south cottage was the oldest, and housed farmworkers connected with a farm steading in the field to the east. By 1901 the steading had disappeared and the cottage to the North had been built.
Our site analysis recorded the fine outlook in a number of directions, most notably across the glen with receding hills to the east. The steep bank down to the field presented both a challenge and an architectural opportunity.
The field across the road would soon be extensively wooded, while existing woodland to the north east provided an interesting short range outlook. This work informed 4 sketch options which looked to take best advantage of the opportunities presented.
The design solution remained largely true to the original concept sketch, hanging out over the slope with its gable supported on stilts with picture windows framing the best views. A compact 5 bedroom layout was developed with a floor area of 210 sq.m. Open plan public rooms run towards the feature gable on the lower level, with the master bedroom on the floor above enjoying the most dramatic, elevated views.
A simple range of materials was chosen externally. The dwelling is entirely clad in larch, with the exception of a stone gable by the roadside. The roof is covered with crinkly tin to complete the rural palette and we couldn’t resist a red door for a splash of colour.