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Aviemore family house is a national award winner

By Tom Ramage

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An eye-catching design in the strath countryside.
An eye-catching design in the strath countryside.

A distinctive home inspired by a distinctive brief by Aviemore has achieved distinction – as a winner of the 2021 Saltire Society Housing Design Awards.

“We’re delighted,” said Andrew Brown, director of architects Brown and Brown in Inverness, whose design at Lower Tullochgrue received one of the single dwelling honours.

“The award is testament to our fantastic clients, who had the drive to do something interesting, and the immensely talented team at Spey Building & Joinery in Kingussie, who made the project a reality.”

At the online ceremony, a spokesperson for the judges explained: “Lower Tullochgrue is a distinctive home that comes from a distinctive brief to accommodate both its immediate household and a large extended family in a congenial and comfortable environment.

“It skilfully re-purposes an existing cottage to provide sleeping accommodation with a new social wing that cantilevers out into the countryside.

“The architecture is simultaneously substantial and delicate. The deep rubble walls of the existing cottage are referenced in a drystone plinth that carries the extension.

“This extension then pushes outwards beyond its masonry base, leaving the lie of the land undisturbed save for a delicate steel V as support.

“This is a building exemplary in its exploration of design to nurture and support intergenerational living. It does this in a sequence of accessible spaces both traditional and modern but always social.”

Tullochgrue home encompasses the new and the old.
Tullochgrue home encompasses the new and the old.

Angus Reid-Evans, the boss of Spey Building & Joinery, told the Strathy: “I think it’s absolutely bloody fantastic that the project has been recognised.

“It’s not just that it’s a superb design and a wonderful build, it’s the circumstances that prevailed as it was conceived and brought together.

“Things simply could not have been more difficult for everybody, with the Covid pandemic at its full height and with all the interruptions and lockdowns.

“But all together, we made a brilliant team, each of us overcoming the very many obstacles to create something that is appreciated so highly by those who live in it and those who judged it.

“We have worked with Brown and Brown on many occasions and it has proved a very happy partnership each time.”

The interior has smart clean lines.
The interior has smart clean lines.

The Saltire Society Housing Design Awards, which celebrate the diversity of the best in new housing in Scotland, are supported by the Scottish Government and recognise the contribution housing makes to social and cultural conversations.

Shortlisted properties were found across the length and breadth of Scotland from the Isle of Uist to Inverness, Perth to Kelso.

Sarah Mason, director of the society, said: “Congratulations to all our 2021 recipients. To the architects, planners, contractors, clients and teams that continue show innovation, quality and attention to detail are present in the creation of Scotland’s architectural landscape...

“This year may not have been the year we had been planning for, but we are encouraged to see the amazing work that is taking place in difficult circumstances and are very grateful for the time and effort put in by all who take part in not only these awards but in creating a better Scotland.”

A lovely big kitchen.
A lovely big kitchen.

The awards are supported by the Scottish Government.

• All the prize-winners can be found at https://www.saltiresociety.org.uk/

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