An Office and Two Houses
The Highlands

Two houses and an office in the Highlands of Scotland

The Vision

We were commissioned to design a mini masterplan for a challenging, forgotten site on the outskirts of Inverness, in the Highlands of Scotland. Three new buildings – a two storey office building and bike store, and two low energy private residences – were plotted onto the brownfield site. The first home & office were completed in late 2022, and the second house slated for construction in 2023.

The office for international mountain biking firm H+I Adventures is designed to ‘meet and greet’ customers prior to their departure on mountain biking expeditions across Scotland. We were briefed to design a welcome that set the standard for Scottish design their tour attendees will enjoy throughout their adventures. It also provides the administrative headquarters for an organisation which reaches adventurers across the globe.

The two houses were to be designed to be energy efficient, making best use of the site’s sloping  topography to provide views out over the beautiful Beauly Firth.

The Conclusion

The new office is enveloped in slim charred larch cladding and rich corten accents. Inside, a warm palette of ochre, graphite and time creates a welcoming atmosphere, offering a clear contrast to the dense surrounding treeline. 

Subtle details add an understated texture and depth to each building. The large office is broken up with textural corten and large glass doors, adding a lightness to the mass of the building. The homes feature an exterior pattern of panelling, created by arranging varying timber widths within the dark charred facades. The home features a slight butterfly roof line, which is adorned with timber detailing to accentuate the lightly undulating form; the exterior captures the low light at dusk.

The homes are strategically positioned to maximise views and embrace the natural topography of the site. With timber frame construction and burnt larch cladding, the homes are highly insulated, and draw very little energy from the grid thanks to solar panels and an air-source heat pump. A powerwall battery keeps the buildings and clients’ electric cars charged without upkeep, fuel or noise.

The results

The team

Structural Engineer:
Adam Hemmings Structural Solutions
Main Contractor: