Private | Creag a’Chlamhain, Scotland 2017-2018 Architect’s Journal Small Projects Awards 2019 A room for cooking in a wood fired oven, eating and drinking with friends; thinking, reading and drawing. Planned and intuitive in equal measure this small building was made by its architect in the ruins of an abandoned highland blackhouse. Drawing on modern and pre-modern influences it was an opportunity for learning by making and an experiment in the use of large section, locally sourced timber. A Douglas Fir structural frame that was selected, felled, milled and jointed by hand before being erected while still ‘green’ supports a gently curved planted roof that oversails the partially reconstructed drystone walls of the old croft. Embedded in the steep sloping hillside, shutters open up along the entire south elevation to afford a panoramic view of Lochnagar and the Upper Dee valley. Designed to emulate the slope of the hillside, the monocoque structure of the roof provides bracing to the trabeated structural frame. A ‘notch’ in the leading edge of the roof allows space for the doorway, while projecting eaves on three sides provide dry seasoning space for the hardwood logs used to fire the oven. The top surface of the roof is extensively planted with native wildflowers to match the surrounding forest floor.