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Barracks Cottage

Dwelling | Glenelg, Scotland

Project - Renovation / Extension

Client - Private

Contract Value - Undisclosed



This traditional bothy type dwelling is situated in the north of Scotland near the small town of Glenelg. The existing property is a sea clay and stone built traditional cottage situated along a private track, some 250 metres from the water of Kyle Rhea and 200 metres North East from the centre of Glenelg, not overlooked by any other properties. The property is of the Scottish North coast cottage vernacular, with a long squat profile and a low eaves height. As is typical of the area, the wall finish is harled and painted white, whilst the roofing material is a rounded profile metal corrugate. The existing property contained 3 bedrooms, with a bathroom and a limited shared kitchen/lounge space.

The existing roof of the property had fallen into a state of dilapidation in areas. The existing corrugate roofing had weathered to the point of failure in places, though the red colouring, as a result of oxidation, paradoxically adds to the aesthetic appeal of the cottage and more strongly references the vernacular metal red roofs commonly seen in Highlands and Islands localities.

Our client was keen to preserve the character and identity of the existing cottage whilst adding a much-needed extension of living space to the property. Equally as important is to renew the existing materials with their modern equivalents, remaining true to the cottage vernacular; ultimately the aim of the project is to safeguard the building’s integrity in the future decades. These proposals include for the renewing of the existing roof covering material, small en-suite extension to the North gable of the cottage, a living space extension to the South gable and a small external porch to the East elevation.

The design has been based around using vernacular materials common to the area, with a sympathetic yet modern design that seeks to integrate both within the idyllic context and the local building stock. The existing linear profile has been accentuated with the new corrugate roofing which appears to extend seamlessly from the ends of both existing gables. A low eaves height and similar roof pitch has been included to make the additions read fully as one cohesive element. It is proposed to use a rounded profile metal corrugate (Plastisol coated for longevity) throughout, this is to be dusty red in colour to reference the local vernacular. As a modern interpretation of the existing the corrugate material has been taken down vertically to form cladding, bringing a simple cohesive element with a contemporary appearance.

The new living area to the south utilises exposed treated larch posts, which will weather a silver-grey colour over time, like the neighbouring property to the South. It is proposed that the South gable will incorporate a timber clad wall with integrated wood store, deep-set windows and areas for the fitment of birdboxes. Our client is keen to use local materials and support local wildlife wherever possible. The large picture window facing the bay has also been incorporated to capture both the views to Skye and frame the active local wildlife.

Our proposals have aimed to generate modestly proportioned yet characterful additions to the existing building that seek to augment rather than detract from both the identity of the cottage and the character and nature of the area.


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