Square House


House with Bed & Breakfast, Isle of Harris, Scotland, 2013-2014

A square of 20 by 20m and a courtyard of 10 by 10m are the basic formal elements of the house. The required rooms are arranged around the courtyard and grouped in four different compartments on each side of the square. A turning area in front of the carport marks the end-point of the scenic route and anchors the house in the landscape. The private rooms and collective facilities are primarily reachable via the courtyard space. A small trail connects guest-rooms, collective areas and the private rooms of the family while some of the compartments comprise of internal connections in the form of enfilades. The architecture follows an idea of structure and space, pursued over the last years in a number of projects: big concrete lintels define the spaces and simultaneously frame the views to the landscape. The slightly over-dimensioned beams carry the large spans and simultaneously articulate a sort of ‘hanging-walls’ which dominate the space and lend an archaic appearance to the house. Two columns and two walls in concrete for the bracing support the beams and emphasise the distribution of the loads. With its modest sizes of rooms and reduced materiality the house refers to the type of charterhouses; elementary and purist. The two-sided orientation of each room to the outside makes the landscape and weather conditions the centre of the house.The courtyard seizes the qualities of the surrounding landscape and condenses it into a miniaturised form, a circular concrete fencing streches the courtyard space to the periphery of the house and emphasises the relationship of protection/exposure, inside/outside. The House is positioned on a saddle between two topographical elevations, from there it is possible to overlook the bays to the North and to the South with the impressive view towards the ocean.

ISLAND Project