Island Retreat

  • Client:


  • Location: Scotland
  • Status: Completed - RIBA Stage 7
  • Contract value: Undisclosed
  • Photography:

    Jack Hobhouse


    Veronika Desova

To the west coast of Scotland, the Island Retreat is home to a unique little building organised by a series of interconnected structures. The existing building, predominately used as a family holiday retreat, is arranged by a central living and social space off which are three bedrooms and a kitchen are organised in a cross plan. Built in 1980, the Island Retreat occupies a sheltered position resting on the principal ridge upon the island.

The project brief is to principally refurbish, alter and upgrade the existing family retreat while exploring opportunities to reimagine, enhance and open up the users experience. This of place, living within the house, and connection out to the landscape beyond.

‘Not a place of isolation but a chance to connect with the rugged landscape. A place to rest, a place to connect with family and ones self. A place with no roads, no fences, no boundaries other than then rocky shoreline or the horizon. In this wild landscape the silence is broken only by the changing patterns of the weather and the waves breaking on the rocky coastline.’

Our starting point and vision for the project considers the island as a whole and not solely on the house environment. Our proposals consider a series of internal and external ‘rooms’ re-organised around the large central octagonal living social space.

Internally the project ambitions aim to exploit the visual and physical connection to the spectacular surrounding landscape and seascapes. The bedroom and kitchen spaces have been carefully manipulated by a series of new openings which help amplify these conditions.

Within the landscape a number of new external rooms have been strategically positioned around the island such as a boathouse, a fire pit, a sundial, all of which aim to provide a further shared experience of the surrounding elements.

Peculiar in form, the project considers opportunities to cost effectively reimagine the outside. Inspired by Norwan Wilkinsons WW1 dazzle camouflage patterns, the project aims to utilise a suite of protect paint coatings to upgrade the fabric while subtly playing with the visual geometry and form of the existing buildings.