What we did
An original 1970's kit house was replaced with a new house which interprets the form and arrangement of the surrounding ruined croft houses in the ancient settlement of Sorisdale. The seaward walls in the living spaces open up for views over the bay and beyond to Ardnamurchan. This house was completed in spring 2010.
Dr .S. O’Neil
We were asked by our client to work in conjunction with Will Tunnel Architecture in South Queensferry, Edinburgh to build her a new house at Sorisdale on the Isle of Coll.
Will Tunnel’s design has two simple, vernacular proportioned sections and a lower link section with a heavy dry stone skin hunkering the building down into the landscape. Wills design won the Glasgow Institute of Architects, Commendation, 2010 award and was featured in the Scottish Government's "Inspirational Projects" collection.
Working on the islands presents many logistical problems, however, having completed a number of projects over many years on Coll and Tiree we were well aware of these difficulties. The public road network on Coll is fairly primitive and access to this site from the ferry harbour on the island was particularly difficult. We planned delivery of all our materials from Mallaig on the mainland by way of a landing craft which delivered onto the nearby beach!
Our timber frame design team went to work on designing the structural framing for the build. Our frames are designed to incorporate a high level of insulation to achieve the standards for sustainability and a high energy performance. The ground conditions on the site gave rise to further difficulties with outcrops of bedrock which is often expected on Coll. Specialised rock expansion chemicals were used to help break the rock and level it to a suitable formation level.
The timber frame kit was manufactured and prepared at our factory in Lochmaben then transported to Mallaig and then across the sea to the site on Coll.