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Old Milton House lies east of Kingussie within the Cairngorms National Park. It sits in a raised position with expansive views across the Spey valley, and the estate comprises the main house, a bothy, a new cottage and a garage set within a mix of woodland and parkland at the centre of what once formed a much larger estate.
The existing house evolved over time, which resulted in a convoluted layout with separate staircase arrangement leading to isolated first floor ‘wings’. Whilst enjoying excellent views across the Spey valley to the north, the building ignored the views and sunshine afforded by its generous southern aspect.
The Clients required a practical layout suitable for accommodating large groups and families, and for the main family rooms to be located on the sunny southern elevation. The fabric also needed substantial upgrading to high efficiency insulation and heating standards.
The alteration and extension resulted in the addition of a new kitchen, a breakfast room with scissor truss roof, a central elliptical staircase linking both sides of the plan, and internal alterations throughout ground and first floor, creating a unique eight bedroom Highland Lodge for leisure and entertaining. The structural alterations were extensive, particularly the complex roof design and sensitive alterations to the existing timber structure to accommodate the new stair.
Creating a sustainable and energy efficient design was of high importance. The installation of a large biomass plant in the garage generates the heating and power to the house and other buildings. The entire fabric was insulated to a high standard, and the existing windows were fitted with efficient double glazed 'slimlite' units. The re-use of local materials or those available on site was encouraged, which can be seen in the roof slating, paving, walls and landscaped areas around the house. The failing white washed cement render which had been applied to the entire elevation of the house was carefully removed and replaced with a more suitable lime render which was matched very carefully with the bothy on the site. The mix used sand that was available on site and the addition of an aggregate from analysis of the existing material. Thick bituminous black paint was carefully removed from the existing stone bands around windows and the timber roof details, finials, and sculpted fascias.
Local trades were used for the metal work, carved joinery designed to match existing details and landscape works and all original material retained where possible.