paper igloo architecture and design

ballintombuie house

new build

gable terrace

timber cladding

pitched slate roof

inside-outside connection

This project is a new build house on a green-field site in the Highlands of Scotland. The brief is for a family sized home that could also potentially function as a holiday rental property. The expansive site is sloping with a slightly raised area in the centre featuring several trees, and which affords spectacular views to the south and west of the surrounding mountains. The house is positioned against this small hillside, resulting in an upside down house with the principle living accommodation on the upper level in the vaulted roof space.

A terrace carved out of one gable elevation faces west, and combined with a large deck at ground level, allows for a full and direct connection with the outdoors from both storeys. 

The internal accommodation is designed in a linear manner, with a long top-lit circulation space running the full length of the building on the north side, and all of the main accommodation facing the primary views and south. Between these spaces are the service zones: conceived as 'blocks' these spaces have a functional identity - boot space, a utility room, a pantry, the kitchen and various spaces for washing.

Narrow slot windows face north and are reminiscent of those in an adjacent barn as well as Scottish castle architecture, whilst the elongated form and pitched slated roof are familiar in the Scottish vernacular of the area. To the south are several large, simple openings, with a door from every space leading directly to the deck outside. A double height space is asymmetrically placed in the plan, and functions as both a dramatic circulation space, but also as a spill-out shared play area from two children's rooms. The dining area is placed in a cantilevered oriel window featuring a fully glazed corner - a modern interpretation of a traditional motif.

The timber cladding is to weather silver-grey in colour and will bed the building into the landscape over time.