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Highland Shelters Competition

Helen Lucas Architects entered a recent competition by Highland Council for the design of three roadside shelters at Locharron, Achnasheen and Braemar Junction.

 

Taking the view, orientation to the sun and exposure to the surrounding environment as the inspiration, the project sought to provide places of ‘prospect and refuge’ for visitors to the area. The shelters used a combination of local materials and pre-fabrication to make construction and repair as easy as possible in these often remote locations. 

 

Although we were not shortlisted in the final three entrants we very much enjoyed developing these proposals.

Architectural Guide to the North Coast 500

The Kylesku Hotel in Sutherland has been included in the "Architectural Guide to the North Coast 500 with meanderings" produced by the Inverness Architectural Association in celebration of the Festival of Architecture 2016.  The NC 500 is a recently established tourist route that passes the hotel.  It comprises of a 500 mile route from Inverness, up the west coast and back via the rugged north coast taking in some of Scotland's most beautiful scenery.  Copies of the booklet area available in tourist centers, arts venues and the RIAS bookshop in Edinburgh.

From England to Scotland and Beyond

Helen Lucas was recently invited by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to discuss the practice of Architecture in the UK. In the podcast Helen shares her unique perspective on the profession, the workplace, sustainability, and what made her originally want to become an Architect. 

 

Click here to listen to the podcast

Highland Hotel Reopens

After a busy winter on site, HLA are delighted to announce that the Phase 1 of our Kylesku Hotel project is complete, with the hotel bar and restaurant open for business! Thanks to some fantastic weather our latest site meeting was held on the deck, in the warm sunshine.

 

2014 IAA Convention

Helen Lucas Architects were delighted to attend the 2014 Inverness Architectural Association Convention on Skye. Enjoyable presentations included those by Hugh Strange, Jonathan Hendry and Malcolm Fraser amongst others, as well as a talk by Helen Lucas entitled 'Building on the Edge'.

 

The office was delighted to be awarded a Commendation for Best Use of Timber at our Croft House, Stoer, which was collected by Project Architect Claire Metivier.

 

 

Room With a View

The bathroom window has been positioned at one of our Highland sites and the view is spectacular.

 

Eigg and Rum can be seen from the smallest room in this west-coast house.  The timber frame is taking shape quickly in this spectacular spot.

 

Highland Hotel

Helen Lucas Architects were delighted to obtain planning permission for the refurbishment and extension to a Highland Hotel this month.

 

The proposals include a new accommodation block, extended restaurant and refurbished bar and dining area.  One of the most exciting additions is a timber deck that will cantilever over the loch to provide breathtaking views and alfresco dining.

Foundations Complete

A party was held at the site of the new Conacher Reynolds house to celebrate the completion of the foundations.  The neat concrete pads will support the green oak frame giving a light touch on the sloping landscape overlooking the sea.

 

Helen Lucas Architects featured in The Guardian

This green oak framed house, completed in 2008, was featured in the homes section of the Guardian on Saturday 5th October.   The photographs show how the house has weathered into - and become a natural looking part of - the landscape.

 

View the article here >

More information on this project >

 

Highland Hot Tub

The sea might be cold but the cedar hot tub installed at this seaside house makes enjoying the water a little bit easier in the north west of Scotland.
 

Mini-Me

It is fifty times bigger but even we were surprised by how similar the completed kitchen at Stoer is to the cardboard model made almost two years earlier to help the clients get a sense of the space beneath the oak scissor trusses.

 

You can see from the finished photograph that the clients decided to add some additional top light during the design process but little else has changed during the later stages of detailed design amp construction. The double height space is the heart of this rural home beautifully sited on a Sutherland croft.

 

Photos of this croft house in its unique setting can be seen here >.

 

Seaside Home Complete in Inverness-shire

A new seaside family house is now complete in Roshven, Invernessshire.

 

The environmentally friendly house is constructed entirely of wood with Green oak frame creating large double height internal spaces. The timber walls have been super insulated with NBT breathable wood fibre insulation and a taped air tight wall construction. This makes the house very easy to heat. Due to the remote location there is no gas or water supply available. An Air Source Heat pump located under the houseuses electricity to generate energy at a three to one ratio to power the underfloor heating and domestic hot water. A bore hole drilled to a depth of fifty metres provides clean water from the rocks which is UV treated to provide the drinking water.

 

View more photographs of this project >

 

Proposals for Skye Croft

Helen Lucas Architects have designed a one and a half storey croft house for a remote windswept plot on northern Skye.

 

The living area is slightly sunken so when seated your gaze sweeps across the top of the machair and out to the sea beyond.

 

Crisp Corner Completes Cladding

Horizontal Siberian Larch Cladding gives this house a controlled furniture like appearance. The ebauer corner posts and window frames produce a subtle contrast with the siberian larch cladding.

 

More details of this project >

 

Staircase Opened Up During Refurbishment

Before and after pictures of the staircase at Dunbeg House, near Fort William.

 

The existing servants staircase to the basement was cramped and dark. The client wanted to make the lower ground floor of the property feel like part of the house.

 

The link between the floors has been greatly improved by the removal of a partition wall to enhance visibilty and sense of space on the staircase. The details of the stair have been merticulously matched to those elsewhere in the property. The client used skilled craftsmen to match the wood panneling, spindles and plasterwork incuding the newel post at the bottom of the staircase which was hand carved from Oak.

 

Helen Lucas Architects oversaw the extensive redevelopment of this Listed Property situated on the banks of Loch Leven.

 

View more posts on this property >

 

Family home in the Highlands with wind turbine and solar panels.

Simple Shepherd's Cottage transformed into generous family home in the Highlands.

 

A contemporary, light extension to a small original cottage creates comfortable, airy living spaces with spectacular views out to the hills.

 

A wind turbine is sat distanced from the house and solar panels have installed on the south facing roof. This project was recently completed and featured in this month's Grand Designs Magazine.

 

View photographs of the completed project >