Johnny and Zoe approached 59 degrees north to design a new house in the countryside. Johnny is a builder and farmer and Zoe was looking forward to the potential of developing a rural based business and a change of lifestyle after successfully building up her environmental consultancy.

The house was designed to be a working house, with the ability to run their farming and land based businesses and allow a certain amount of separation for the domestic house.  To reduce the impact of a large house on the Orkney landscape the volume was broken down into individual linked elements. This allowed the building to appear as a cluster of traditionally proportioned Orkney buildings and gave the opportunity to create an open courtyard to the south. The separate elements were expressed in different materials; local stone, untreated timber cladding and a render with a black concrete tile roof unifying the building and a wildflower flat roof to the south facing link. 

The internal arrangement allows the business to operate in the rendered croft form with the living area in the stone and two storey timber clad elements. The main living space has been designed as a large well lit open plan area with fully glazed sliding doors opening onto the south facing courtyard garden.  The master bedroom enjoys views north, over Harray loch, perfectly framing the northern lights when they perform.

There is a pond for ducks and wildlife which is fed from the rainwater collected on the roof. There is native tree planting around the boundary to create shelter and increase bio-diversity.  

The house is complete and Johnny and Zoe continue to work on the garden and landscape beyond.

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