Named Hundred Acre Wood, the castle-like dwelling was designed for a couple with six children on former Forestry Commission land with its own private lochan – a small lake.
Denizen Works has lowered the house into a hollow in the landscape, making it appear as though it emerges out from the ground on the north and south elevations.
According to the studio, this aims to give the home a protective quality, with the help of its monumental appearance that references the work of Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida.
“The brief was for a family home for our clients and their six children – as well as an increasing number of grandchildren – that would reflect their personalities and provide a lasting legacy for the family,” project architect Andrew Ingham told Dezeen.
“Conceptually, it was conceived as a sculpted solid, referencing the work of Eduardo Chillida, to heighten the sense of a protective shell that appears as a robust object in the landscape.”
While referencing the work of Chillida, the form of Hundred Acre Wood has also been developed in response to the home’s environmental context.
Its layout aims to ensure it has the least visual impact on the nearby road, it makes the most of its vantage point above Loch Awe and its rooms align with the movement of the sun.
“The plan is narrow on the west elevation, where it was considered more sensitive due to views from the road below,” said Ingham.
“The form responds to the environmental context, key views and the site’s topography.”
One of the most unusual features of Hundred Acre Wood is its facade, which is covered in recycled and crushed TV screens for a low-maintenance, pebbledash-like finish.
This was developed by Denizen Works as a “take on a traditional Scottish harling” – a rough wall finish that is made from lime and aggregate.
“We sourced a decorative glass chipping created from recycled TV screens collected in Scotland which come in a lovely range of blue-greys which we felt was appropriate for the moody Scottish skies,” Ingham explained.
“Our client is also not keen on TVs, so there was an element of playfulness in their use.”
As the material had not been used on a building before, the studio had to develop prototypes with the construction materials company Sika to test its performance.
“Large sample panels were produced for client sign-off and to help convince the planners that the system would be successful,” added Ingham.
Inside, the focal point of Hundred Acre Wood is a central, double-height hall lit by an oculus in the ceiling.
This was designed to accommodate a five-metre-tall Christmas tree – one of the client’s main requests for Denizen Works.
Around the hall are the main living spaces and the seven bedrooms, all arranged to maximise views of the loch and sun throughout the day.
The majority of the interior has a deliberately pared-back finish to retain focus on the client’s furniture collection, but the hall is designed to be more dramatic.
“We wanted to use the finishes to create a sense of drama,” said Ingham, referencing the studio’s design for the hall.
“It features a recycled paper ceiling, clay walls with gold mica flecks and a screeded floor with exposed mirror aggregate,” he continued. “A large, gold-lead-lined oculus is situated over the Christmas tree pit and casts a warm glow into the space.”
The thick walls of the home are visible in the deep window reveals of each room, bringing the sense of protection granted by its sculptural exterior to the interior.
Finishing details of the house include a ground source heat pump that provides heating and hot water, while a private borehole provides fresh water to the whole house.
As part of the landscape design, reed beds have been introduced to treat wastewater and rainwater, which is sent to the lochan.
Founded in 2011 by Murray Kerr, Denizen Works is an architecture studio with offices in London and Glasgow.
The photography is by Gilbert McCarragher.
Architect: Denizen Works
Project team: Charlotte Airey, Matthew Barnett, Andrew Ingham, Murray Kerr, Dimitri Savitchev
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