the Saltire Medal and the Alterations, Renovation and Extensions Award 2016
Architect: A449 LTD
Builder: Ainslie Contracting LTD
What were the Key Aims and Objectives of the Project:
Our project at Blakeburn cottage involved the complete overhaul a nondescript mid-20th Century dwelling in order to create a unique and elegant home in a fantastic rural location near Melrose, Roxburghshire.
The client (a writer) works from home and their brief prioritised the quality and relationships between internal spaces and subsequent views to the surrounding countryside. The internal arrangement was therefore conceived as a series of cellular spaces particular to her activities during the day. All rooms are linked by a corridor (that also functions as a gallery) that runs the length of the north elevation.
Key Design Intentions and Execution
Given the prominent position of the existing building any new works had to be articulated to minimise the visual impact of creating a much larger building on the site.
We achieved this by referencing the simple gable form of the existing building, and by utilising a restrained material pallete that was sympathetic to the site context. The result is a refined form
with an external appearance that allows the building to blend into the woods to the east of the site.
To the east end is the writer’s studio space where multiple picture windows frame different views to the morning light filtering through the woods.
A full internal strip out allowed us to create flexible accommodation on one level featuring double height space in all rooms that fully engages the roof pitch void. Making use of the full volume of a room is successful throughout the building,particularly in the bathroom where two large rooflights sit directly above the bath creating a unique opportunity for cloud watching and stargazing.
The existing footprint was also extended to the east and west of the existing building, with the entire building then over clad in scorched larch to blend in with its context.