Of the earth - nestled in to the site of a former quarry, Simon Winstanley Architects have created the perfect "viewmaster" in the Solway Firth, Scotland (National Scenic Area).
The design meets the client's brief for a contemporary, energy efficient home which fully embraces the view
and relates to the surrounding context and landscape. The light, airy first floor contrasting the solid lower level, minimising the visual impact of the house, nestling it into the site. Open plan, the predominantly glazed top floor, provides two living rooms and a wonderful central entertaining kitchen dining area. Quite how the guests will tear their eyes from the view is another issue all together.
The site is a steeply sloping, former quarry in a National Scenic Area which slopes steeply in two directions from the quarry base which forms the only level ground access.
The house is conceived as a stone plinth which echos the exposed quarry face and houses the bedrooms
with a garage & entrance under at the level of the quarry base.
Layout & Materials
The principal living accommodation is expressed as a lightweight glazed "pavilion" sitting on the solid plinth. It is set back to form an external terrace facing the sea and to reduce the apparent mass of the house.
The glazed pavilion is constructed with a steel frame and highly insulated timber infill panels clad in cedar and triple glazed windows. The roof, although thick internally to provide very high levels of insulation, is cantilevered on all sides with projecting expressed douglas fir rafters to give a thin, elegant leading edge.
The roof is finished in standing seam pre-fabricated grey zinc. The masonry base is finished in stone from re-cycled quarry waste.
The design uses the most energy efficient construction & technology where possible as part of a sustainable approach to building for the future:
- the external walls, floor and roof are insulated to a high standard and air infiltration is minimised.
- triple glazed windows with warm edge spacer bars, thermally broken frames and inert gas filled to achieve a whole window u-value of 0.7W/m2K.
- heat pump using a borehole as the ground source for the underfloor heating and hot water system with a closed combustion wood burning stove as back up.
- micro generation of renewable electricity using roof mounted Photovoltaic Panels.
- whole house heat recovery ventilation system.
The project has recently received a string of awards - a prestigious Saltire Society Housing Design Award, one of only two awarded this year, a Design Commendation from the Glasgow Institute of Architects and a Chartered Institute of Building Commendation Award. The project was also shortlisted in the Roses Design Awards.
Solway Firth, Scotland
Simon Winstanley Architects
Further photos flickr