This Renovated Scottish Farmhouse With Sinuous Interior Walls Is a Jaw-Dropper

This Renovated Scottish Farmhouse With Sinuous Interior Walls Is a Jaw-Dropper

By Melissa Dalton
A design team builds a minimalist abode with curving interior walls on the site of 17th-century ruins in Scotland, creating layers of history and place.

The crumbling stone walls of a 17th-century farmhouse in the remote countryside of Dumfries, Scotland, presented a unique renovation opportunity for Lily Jencks Studio and Nathanael Dorent Architecture, the teams behind this project. Rather than demolish the old walls, they inserted a crisp, modern home within them, so as to emphasize the site's history and passage of time. 

The building's modern exterior cladding contrasts dramatically with the existing ruins.

The long, rectangular window meets the stone wall.

This approach starts with the new building's exterior envelope, which is a combination of the preserved ancient stone and black, waterproofing EPDM rubber. Large windows and door openings take advantage of where the stone stops and starts, and the team reinstated the pitched roof that the old farmhouse would have had, in order to "provide external coherence," they write.

The public area of the home includes a kitchen, study, sitting room, and dining area.

Inside the exterior shell is a "curvilinear interior 'tube' wall system," writes the design team. The rounded surface is comprised of a gridded, wooden structure and insulating polystyrene blocks that are then covered with fiberglass. This forms organic, curved walls and window openings that depart from the stricter geometries of rectilinear doors and windows, and creates soft contrast against the old stone.

Passage through the home is shaped by irregularly sized doorways.

The design team writes, "As a wooden grid structure, the furniture pieces pull the structural grid through the surface of the GRP walls and seem to be peeling off the tube."

The interior "tubular" shell forms these organic window openings in some spots.

This shows how the freeform wall surfaces are juxtaposed against the more crisp and square geometries of doors and windows.

According to the design team, the three layers of the home—stone ruin, black exterior envelope, and curved interior shell—all function together to create a "dynamic sensory experience" that better evokes the "pleasures of living within layers of history."

The renovated home is nestled in its country setting with distant views into two valleys.

Project Credits:

Architect/Designer: Lily Jencks Studio

Architect/Designer: Nathanael Dorent Architecture

Architect of Record: SAVILLS – Michael Leybourne

Builder/General Contractor: CHALMERS CONSTRUCTION LTD – Donald Chalmers

Structural Engineer (interior tube): NOUS ENGINEERING – Manja Van der Worp

Structural Engineer (exterior design): ASHER ASSOCIATED

Landscape Design: Lily Jencks – Laura Keenan

Lighting Design: Lily Jencks Studio – Lily Jencks, Pati Santos, Rebecca Otero

Interior Design: Lily Jencks Studio and Nathanael Dorent Architecture

Cabinetry Design: Lily Jencks Studio – Lily Jencks, Pati Santos

Cabinetry Installation: A.B. HASTINGS – Jack Hastings

Photographer: Sergio Pirrone 


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