Paris-based architect Nathanael Dorent and design firm Lily Jencks Studio have built a private house within the existing stone ruins of an old farmhouse. The architecture was based on the idea that that the contemporary occupation is just another layer to be added to the site’s history.
Description from the architects, “This private house in Scotland is built within the existing stone ruins of an old farmhouse, with beautiful views northwards for more than 50miles down two valleys.
Since the existing ruin, and new building, reveal a palimpsest of occupation on the site, we wanted to highlight this layering by adding a sequence of counterpoint materials and variating geometry within the design. The first layer is the existing stone wall, within which sits a black EPDM rubber clad pitched-roof ‘envelope’, and within that a curvilinear interior ‘tube’ wall system. The Three layers of Ruin, Envelope, Tube were first conceived as laminated together.
Within the tube are the more public programs of kitchen, study, sittingroom and dining. In some areas, the tube ‘delaminates’ from the Envelope to create rooms that are used for the more private functions of bedrooms, bathrooms and storage. The existing ruined walls, and views from the site, dictate locations for large windows and door openings. At the windows and doors the tube funnels out towards the light, creating a ‘poched’ space within the thickness of the tube wall, and between the envelope and the tube, that can be used for furniture and storage.
We have ‘preserved’ the ruin walls, and reinstituted the pitched roof that would have been there originally, providing an external coherence that pleased the planning committee. But the matt black rubber exterior and soft curves of the interior provide a more counterpoint preservation, accentuating this palimpsest nature of occupation on the site, and pleasures of living within history.”