New Holiday Let Unit at Rink Hill
Stuart Davidson Architecture

The client's brief was to create a high spec, low impact and 'honest' property catering for luxury short breaks. This was achieved by the building being formed with a continual curved glazed frontage, pinned either side by two curving natural drystone walls from the ground to join the building, the wall matching surrounding field walls. The site is located in open farmland to the north west of the River Tweed on the outer curve of a hillside topped with the site of an ancient roman fort and anterior route, linking the fort running to the east of the site. The design had to work closely with a visual impact study, leaving the public viewpoints of an untouched hillside. The existing bank to the front was remodelled to aid this. The low-profile roof falling gently to the rear ensured there was no high level impact from the property. 

A main focus of the build was to utilise natural products in the finishing material pallet, selected to include 70%, sourced within a ten-mile radius of the site. The main frontages were formed with natural whinstone, recycled from former drystone walling. All finishing was completed with Douglas Fir timber, which was sustainably harvested from a woodland on the client's land, milled and seasoned on site before use. Due to the site's remoteness, the property was designed as an oversized single skin timber frame kit with specific steelwork. The kit was over insulated and overlined either side to ensure optimum airtightness, with varying finishing materials externally and service void internally to ensure the airtight layer was maintained throughout. The roof structure is formed from a lightweight twin skin insulated sheet, giving a design feature internally of metal sheeting supported on Parallam beams.

The main glazed frontage was formed with both energy performance and solar control in mind, countering the glazed expanse with solar shading to allow for the building to be naturally ventilated, with the concrete floor accommodating as a heat store. The main accommodation ensures ease of movement and enjoyment of the space, with all main areas afforded with a view to the frontage. The property has been designed, though it is remote, to be fully inclusive and accessible . Large open areas allow for flexible accommodation and free flowing movement. As the property is designed for couples, the layout is mainly open plan with a main living area, with internal glazed screen to the bedroom, ensuring all rooms benefit from the full 270 degree views. 


Judges' comments

The new holiday lets have been carefully though through in their design by the Chartered Architectural Technologst. Though simple in its form, the lets are effective in utilising maximum views from their positioning. The clever use of locally sourced materials, combined with the design, assist in blending the buildings within the landscape and create the illusion of a concealed structure.