Taigh Sanna

Uidh, Isle of Vatersay

Located on one of the most beautiful sites in the Western Isles, a rocky headland between two pristine beaches, the house takes advantage of spectacular views north to Kisimul Castle and Heaval peak above Castlebay on Barra; visible on clear days across the Minch to the east are the Cuillins on Skye. 

The building is aligned with the topography to minimize underbuilding and reducing intrusion into the important view of Kisimul seen from Castlebay.  The house is a one and a half storey development of the Practice’s design for the Cuithir houses on Barra, and provides similar advantages of weather resistance, low wind noise, thermal efficiency and efficient use of building volume.  The west-facing bay window provides a light-filled dining area projecting beyond the main shell of the house.  External materials were chosen for their longevity, low energy and ease of maintenance:  dark natural slate on the roof, aluminium rainwater goods, natural aggregate wet-dash harled brick walls, untreated larch porch boarding and timber doors and windows.   Built by a local contractor it has proved itself in many extreme weather events since completion in 2005.

The four-bedroom longhouse for artist clients has an open plan living/dining/ kitchen area, the stair giving access to a first-floor gallery studio overlooking the double height sitting room.  The upper level also contains the master bedroom with ensuite shower room.  On the ground floor are two more bedrooms, a bathroom and utility room, and a self-catering holiday unit which can be extended to include one of the other bedrooms as required. 

The house features on the Scottish Tourist Board (VisitScotland)’s film ‘Perfect Day’ publicizing Scotland.

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