Glen Road House
The scale, massing, form and material of the proposed dwelling has been driven from the start by the important presence of a Grade B Listed cottage on the site, which has resulted in a very bespoke design that has a sense of permanence and composure evocative of traditional settlements compatible with old cottages of this nature. The resulting composition seeks to contribute to the significance of the heritage asset in the way it is understood, appreciated and experienced as a whole, giving due hierarchy to the cottage as the pre-established domestic forebear to the new counterpart. The impact of the composition is to re-frame how the cottage is perceived in a way that is a primary piece of the homestead of a farm settlement, as opposed to its somewhat eroded current setting which posits it as a left-over remnant swamped by shed-like barns.
The design proposal aims to compliment the cottage by being borne out of compatible traditional settlement patterns of a historic and special character, namely the bawn and clachan type settlements characteristic of rural farm type settlements. These historic rural settlements typically have a building, or collection of buildings of various scales, which read as the primary homestead as opposed to the ‘working’ farm buildings, and together form a visually harmonious group.
The cottage in its existing setting is dwarfed by the purely agricultural sheds and 2-storey barns which have since become established on the site, thereby allowing the nature/land use of the site to read predominantly as the working part of the farm. To further prevent such dominance of the shed-like external forms dominating the ‘homestead’ contingent of the site, the proposed dwelling is deliberately domestic in language – the square form is one of the most basic geometric shapes used in early dwellings such as tower houses, whilst the crafted heavy stone mass symbolises shelter and resilience from the elements, akin to that of the cottage.
To further reinforce the importance of the cottage, i.e. home, versus ‘working’ buildings on the site, the new house would also have to be substantial enough to proportionally establish itself against the large barns dominating the site, thereby redressing the balance of homestead on the site which intrinsically includes the cottage as its domestic contingent. The scale of the additional domestic form needed to be different from the existing cottage so as not to mimic it, and substantial enough to read in correct hierarchy to the large dominating existing agricultural sheds.
By following this principle in creating an easily recognisable domestic contingent on the site, the hierarchy of the existing cottage is reinforced in its importance as a fellow dwelling counterpart to the farm settlement.
May 28, 2019