"In 2004 I bought a plot of land and started building my own house design. This was a steep learning curve, but was extremely worthwhile. It taught me about issues that arise on site, how joiners want to work and most of all; how much it all costs. In a practical sense it taught me more than I'd learnt at University or on previous projects.
I love the openness of the main living space, how bright it is and how my kids have lots of space to run around and play. I also like that there isn't any corridors, the whole house feels connected and there's no wasted space. I built it on a tight budget and that is often a great 'filter' in deciding what's really important in a design. The more specific the brief, the better the end result is".
The process of building his own house, which included evening classes to learn brick laying and a course at the Scottish Lime Centre, has given Duncan hands on experience and made him a much more practical Architect.
Another house that Duncan is particularly proud of is the one he designed for a client at Rhives in Golspie. The brief was a contemporary house set in the walled-garden of a B-Listed building. The site has amazing views over Golspie and to the sea beyond and the finished house was recently entered into the Inverness Architectural Association (IAA) Design Awards.
Most recently Duncan has qualified as a Certified Passivhaus Designer. Passivhaus is one of the highest design standards for energy efficiency and occupant comfort, and can only be provided by those who have completed suitable training and passed an exam set by the Passivhaus Institute.
Architect Duncan MacDonald has a professional background that allows him to offer clients a particular expertise on both new build projects and Listed Building renovation. Duncan studied at The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Aberdeen and completed a B.Sc. (Hons) in Architecture and then a M.Sc. post graduate course in Advanced Architectural Studies in 2001, with a chosen area of study being Conservation.
After qualifying, Duncan worked for Architect Lachlan Stewart who is best know for his restoration of Ballone Castle, Portmahomack. Duncan then moved to be project Architect with a highly successful Planning Consultants in Inverness for 6 years where he worked on domestic and commercial projects. During this time he also built his own house in Edderton, near Tain.