Private Clients | Crathie, Scotland 2017-2019

Located amongst the ruins of an 18th century ‘fermtown’, Drummargettie is a new build home in the heart of the Cairngorms, Scotland for two passionate hill walkers keen to live in the landscape they have spent years trekking. The building strikes a balance between a formal response to the landscape and the provision of a practical, economic and energy efficient home.

The clients, a professor and lecturer in energy economics and a concert-level musician whose own set of ambitions; particularly with respect to energy use; played a key role in the design process. Strategies for the occupation of the site were developed closely with the client, culminating a response to three defining features of the pre-existing site.

Firstly, the scale and proportion of three ruined 19th century farm buildings are taken to inform the alignment of spine walls which organise the internal spaces. The orientation of the building envelope and openings is then conceived as a way to frame spectacular views south across the Upper Dee Valley and to a stand of birch trees that enclose the site to the north. Finally, a downward, bi-angular sloping zinc roof sails over the internal spaces following the site’s topography – resulting in a roof line that remains low, running parallel to the immediate site contour and the skyline of an adjacent hillside.