The new house forms part of a group of buildings set on a knoll, with views to the Cairngorms. The existing Coulnakyle House is higher than the adjoining steading and cottage, and our proposal, at the north end, forms a stop to the group. The house explores the idea of a modern vernacular architecture, and its white harled walls and slated pitched roof are intended to sit quietly within the grouping. It takes the best elements of a Scottish building tradition and adapts these to modern concerns such as orientation towards landscape, the blurring between internal and external, open-plan living, energy consciousness etc.
Externally, the large windows are grouped with areas of stained timber cladding and are used to distinguish the new building from conventional window and door openings. These large areas of glass connect internal spaces to the garden. On the front elevation the entrance lobby is pulled out to form a protected threshold.
Internally the focus of the ground floor is the kitchen, which opens to the dining area and has views right through the building. Sliding screens and a large pivot door connect this space to the adjacent sitting room and enable the ground floor to potentially be open plan. On the first floor a play area adjoins the circulation of the house, while a study is kept behind doors. In addition the first floor has a large master bedroom with ensuite WC, two children's bedrooms and WC, and fixed ladder access to full attic storage.
Civic Trust Special Mention 2003