When Angelique Robb and her husband Gavin first toured the hardscrabble cluster of semi-derelict Scottish farmstead buildings that they would eventually call home, their original idea was to do the renovation themselves. "Now I wonder what we were thinking," Robb told the folks at Dwell, who featured the nearly completed project in their May issue. Once the couple realized the scope of the renovation at hand, they got in touch with Glasgow-based architect Andrew McAvoy of Assembly Architecture and soon "fell in love with his ideas." Using nineteenth-century maps of steading buildings as a point of reference, McAvoy suggested they follow the original U-shaped layout of the site, building two energy-efficient contemporary structures connected to the overhauled stone buildings, all sharing a central entrance courtyard. After nearly three years of construction, the first half of Skye Steading is finished, with the rest due to be completed this fall.
For the first wedge-shaped new build, the pair opted for a lot of glazing and open spaces, keeping one end of the home partially earth-sheltered. The additions are clad in Cor-Ten steel, which is rare for residential structures in the U.K. According to McAvoy, the decision to use it came from of a desire to "create a building that reflected the surrounding industrial and agricultural landscape. The building's wonderful deep oxidizing metal color blends beautifully into the rustic backdrop of this former oat mill site."
While the contemporary wing houses the kitchen, dining, and lounge area—the latter of which is floored with "a whole gym's worth of three-quarter-inch- thick solid Canadian maple" salvaged from an old school in nearby Aberdeen—Robb and her husband knew they wanted to situate the bedrooms in the renovated steadings, which, in contrast to the newer sections, have smaller windows that lend them a more secluded feel. Dwell has more on the project, which holds court with some of the most forward-looking historical renovations around.
· A Cor-Ten Steel-clad Farmhouse Renovation in Scotland [Dwell]
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