Contemporary Scottish architecture embedded into the woodland landscape

Nestled in a manmade bowl carved out of the landscape, Quarry House is concealed from public view in a wooded site in the Cairngorms National Park.

This proposed family home, designed by Moxon Architects, has just received planning permission and will join a loosely grouped cluster of residential and community buildings surrounded by the Crathie Wood SSSI in Upper Deeside.

The house is designed to make the most of its former quarry location, sheltering from northerly winds and bringing sunlight into the house as rooms are oriented south and west. The brief was for the architects to come up with a ‘climate proof’ building that could withstand extreme weather while remaining energy efficient – temperatures in the area regularly drop to below -20C each winter. With frameless glazing and long span profiled metal roofing the form of the house is follows the slope of the landscape and draws on diverse references including modern agricultural buildings and the Arts and Crafts architecture of many houses in the surrounding area.

The exterior of the building is characterized a series of re-entrant corners and protected recesses that define sheltered external areas and provide lateral views from the living spaces along the elevations and into the woods beyond. A combination of wide rough sawn and narrow smooth planed larch boards will be joined by ‘crinkly tin’ mono pitch metal roofs with deep box gutters and snow rails. Interior spaces will reflect the simplicity of the construction with a palette of materials used to emphasise the quality of light that enters the rooms and draw the eye to views out.

Architect Ben Addy said:

“The brief for this house was that it should be of the woods as much as it is in the woods. Although the overall footprint is very simple the interior spaces are deliberately ‘misaligned’ in order to create pockets of space that embed the building in its surroundings with sheltered niches and frequent unexpected views.”

The house received planning permission in Autumn 2015 and will commence construction in Mid 2016.