of the Saltire Society Architecture International Travel Bursary
is Sophie Roberts of the University of Dundee’s School of Architecture,
for her thesis for ‘An Autonomous Architecture’ emerging from preceding group study into ‘Housing for Rural Sustainable Futures’.
The group work, undertaken as part of MacroMicro Studio considers a site owned by the National Trust for Scotland in Cottown, near Perth on the Carse of Gowrie. The group research provides an impressive body of thematic research into national, regional and local trends in population, housing demand and energy consumption that then inform emerging strategies for how to consider sustainable development in rural Perthshire. This is augmented by map progression and measured survey work analysing the hamlet of Cottown, its layout and building characteristics.
The findings from the group work into ‘Housing for Rural Sustainable Futures’ has then been fused with research into design theory and the work of renowned international masters of modern architecture to develop a design for courtyard housing for a site in Cottown. The design takes cognisance of the rural setting, within the carse landscape, and adapts a Scottish Walled Garden concept to create a housing courtyard around community gardens.
With scope to refine the architectural response to context the model provides a compelling, attractive and potentially adaptable template for new build housing in rural and village settings. The overarching ethos combines contemporary design and established building traditions to tackle ongoing concerns for affordable, low energy housing in rural locations.
It is hoped that the award of the International Travel Bursary enables Sophie to visit the array of exemplary housing projects in Denmark and Switzerland, listed in her bursary submission, and that seeing these project first hand allows her to hone her concepts for housing in rural contexts in Scotland, and elsewhere.