Every time Thomas Robinson Architects are asked about a new project, whether it’s designing a new house, renovating a farmhouse, or rethinking a traditional shooting lodge – they go back to the basics of what a great building should be.
A building is for now and for the future. It should uplift our spirits and create good feelings for those inside. It should flow and make the most of natural light and views and the proportions must work effortlessly.
Designing and building should be a shared vision with the client, bringing to life their dream and becoming even better than they imagined.
Here, Thomas explains how they worked on a grand new country home.
We were asked to design an extensive family home on an East Renfrewshire hilltop, set in 12 rural acres complete with ornamental lochan and mature woodland.
After delving into our client’s aesthetic preferences and detailed research into the local architecture, the proposal was for a significant Scots Baronial style home featuring a conical turret. Our aim was to create an impressive visual asset in the landscape that would stand the test of time.
How we worked
The project is on the site of a mid-century house, which after careful consideration, we decided to remove, as extending it would result in a sprawling building which ultimately would not enhance the landscape or fulfil the client’s brief.
The newbuild design not only fits a recognisable Scottish vernacular style, but also makes intelligent use of the contours of the site, by relating to the lochan and maximising views and natural light. The footprint is kept to a minimum, and garaging is tucked out of sight. It also incorporates green technologies for a low-energy lifestyle.
The design is classically symmetrical, with a central entrance and grand hallway and public spaces on either side. Upstairs, the two wings house bedrooms, with the master suite in a central position. The elegant style follows proportions familiar in traditional Scottish architecture, including castle embellishments, and impressive fine detailing throughout.
Success of the project
This is an exceptionally successful project, with the owners stating that it is everything they had hoped for. Its appearance is particularly wonderful from across the lochan, with the water giving it an ethereal quality, surpassing expectations.
Inside, the large rooms flow well and feel comfortable to be in, with superb natural light – which floods in as the design is not too deep. The navigation is deliberately natural and clear, and the house doesn’t feel overtly mansion-like. You are always able to locate yourself in the space, with internal views through the house into other rooms inviting you through.
The breathtaking hall with sweeping staircase is a focal point, and will be the centre of any party, as well as being a practical and connecting space to be in. The interior offers a similar hierarchy of detail and finishes to the exterior, which pinpoint the important spaces and display elements of design focus.
These include details such as Italian marble floors, coffered ceilings, ornate plasterwork, intricate stonemasonry, elegant timber panelling and a bespoke Clive Christian bar, which all elevate this home to the highest level.
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