THE SECRET GARDEN // HIGHLAND
| PROFILE |
Highland Housing Alliance
Milton of Leys, Inverness
A simple design that reinterprets traditional Highland houses and gardens, and reinforces the role that outside space can play a part in a modern sustainable lifestyle. The house is part of Scotland’s Housing Expo which took place in August 2010.
Saltire Housing Design Awards 2011 – Commendation
Scotland's Housing Expo
Housing Expo Publication
Working with the
Respect the landscape setting
and the traditional building
patterns of the locality
Responding to the
Consider the immediate context
and allow specific site conditions
to influence design
Inspirational ideas for
and innovative design
- The Secret Garden has been designed to provide a modern reinterpretation of the character of houses typically found in the Highlands, in particular in Skye, which is the location of the architect's practice.
- The design is a simple external form containing a rich arrangement of internal spaces that create strong connections to the outside world.
- As is common for west coast buildings (on account of the high winds) the house does not feature any overhanging eaves or unnecessary projections, and has a simple ‘clipped’ look.
- The materials used are primarily timber to respond to the rural context.
- The garden dictates the internal organisation of the house.
- Internal spaces are designed to benefit from the highly sustainable specification, heavy insulation and heat from solar gain.
- The south facing side enjoys the most natural light and it occupies the kitchen and dining area, with the whole food process (growing, making and eating) taking place in the same area.
- Also on the south side is the living room, looking out onto the recreational garden.
- The living room enjoys a high ceiling, and a large roof light brings south light right into the heart of the house.
- The design takes advantage of the private external spaces, which contain an area where occupants are able to grow their own fruit and vegetables, encouraging food production as well as recreation.
- The design maximises the use of space with ‘sleeping platforms’ in the roof volume.
- Energy efficiency is achieved through heat conservation rather than add-on technology: walls are twice the thickness of conventional construction and highly insulated; high performance windows have been used; and a whole house ventilation system with heat recovery is installed.
- Much of the timber has been sourced locally and all materials are recyclable.
Image © Paul Zanre
Page updated: Monday, May 28, 2012