rural design architects: the hen house, isle of skye rural design architects: the hen house, isle of skye
feb 11, 2013

rural design architects: the hen house, isle of skye

‘the hen house’ by rural design architects, fiscavaig, isle of skye, scottish highlands

image © andrew lee

all images courtesy of rural design architects



situated in the scottish highlands, the isle of skye is home to an idyllic rolling rusticity, one that local firm rural design architects seeks to incorporate into the overall gestalt of the vernacular architecture. ‘then hen house’ is a holiday getaway residence that eschews convention due to this very uniqueposition in the landscape. the architects resolved to raise the house on small pilotis as a method of releasing the design from the hills and to make useof wider context of the topography. deliberately narrowing northward and leaning into the weather, the home creates a relationship to the nearby fiscavaig,a norse word for ‘fish bay.’ the building’s form affords stunning views of a blue-skinned seascape and warm-colored mountainside. the entrance is a mini-bridge that further emphasizes the architecture as a visitor on the vast land, followed by a fully-glazed elevation to the north. asymmetrically placed windows further draw light into the structure and unvarnished timber orthogonally oppose the lines of the surrounding countryside and pitched roof.



the architects were challenged to design a home in a landscape that needed no intervention

image © andrew lee



simple materials brilliantly allow the house to simultaneously break and blend with the landscape

image © andrew lee



an angled roof continues a line of sight into the nearby bay, helped by the lift of the pilotis

image © andrew lee



the interiors are warmed by wooden floors and OSB walls

image © andrew lee



the northern wall is entirely glazed so as to make use of the stunning views

image © andrew lee



strategically placed windows pull in natural light to both floors

image © andrew lee



the hen house is a building centered around context

image © andrew lee



light wood framing and pilotis make up the bones of the building

image © andrew lee



model/ aperture view

image © andrew lee



model/ elevation view

image © andrew lee



(left): floor plan (right): elevation

  • Nice Project, clever plan, good choice and use of materials. Well done.

    Alan Dunlop says:
  • I agree w/ Alan

    dbkii says:
  • I also agree with Alan and dbkii. The plan is sweet as well as placement into the landscape. I also love the second box intersection into the main form and how it is highlighted by the change of wood slat direction. The elevation shows the house floating on pylons. I only wish the house had the same effect. Looks like some slabs got added afterwards.

    faftaichi says:
  • I really dislike the plywood wall finish but everything else is nice. The plan, the apparent use of natural materials, the elevations are nice, and I especially like the way that the exterior wood panels look almost like metal panels from afar.

    justin says:
  • I thought this was an australian house at first with it’s expansive glass to the north. And most of the heat generated by that stove would be radiated outside thru the glass. I’d align those stair treads at right angles to the adjacent wall (have you ever traversed stairs like these?). Nice plan and aesthetics. Reminds me of an archi studio project 🙂

    rich says:

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