Former Schoolhouse, Applecross

This Former Schoolhouse near Applecross forms part of a small settlement on the ‘coast road’. Both of Duncan's grandparents originated from this area and were in the same class in 1907. This project therefore had a very special significance from the outset. We were introduced to the project by the previous owner who we have designed a new house for and the new owners wanted to carry out a number of changes to make the buildings suitable for their use. There were three structures on the site, with the School Room being separate from the attached Schoolhouse (with no door between them) and to the West of the site, behind the School House was a detached Bothy. The previous owner had a craft workshop and small gallery in the School Room. She also ran the Bothy as a self-catering holiday unit and used the Schoolhouse as her own home.

The new owners wanted to ‘integrate’ the 3 parts of the existing buildings. The proposal was for a new extension that provides this ‘essential link’ that will turn three separate structures into one family home. The client had previously worked with Benjamin Huntington, an Interior Designer and the design proposals were a collaboration, with essential input from our clients.

We have visited Arrina a number of times and this has included staying in the Bothy to experience the evening and morning light as well as allowing us to become more familiar with the immediate surroundings. The site enjoys truly breathtaking views over Loch Torridon and beyond. The School Room did not have any lower level windows, with the design no doubt intended to promote concentration of the pupils. The Schoolhouse itself had limited views, with the exception being the narrow front porch.

We wanted to improve the enjoyment of the setting and also to ‘open up’ the School Room as well as linking the buildings. The most spectacular part of the overall changes is a New Glazed Extension to the rear of the School Room to take advantage of the views and also allows our clients to ‘sit outside’ when the midges are at their most aggressive. To the other side of the house we added a larger Conservatory that also brings a lot more daylight into the Lounge.

Above the new link extension we formed an additional Bedroom and En-suite with framed views to the bay and also to the North West. Most of the new link extension is clad in Cedral cladding that gives the appearance of painted timber but without the ongoing maintenance issues. This compliments the natural stone and the slate roof.

For the Glazed Extension to the rear of the School Room we worked with Trombe and Carpenter Oak who collaborated to create the new structure that is simply stunning and a highly transparent addition to the existing mass on the building.

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