The fact that this was architect Stuart Archer’s first major self build project makes this striking home, located in the Spey Valley in the Scottish Highlands, all the more impressive.

The new house is built on a family-owned plot that, when he embarked on the project, was home to a run-down cottage and dilapidated barn. Faced with the dilemma of working with what was already there or demolishing the buildings, Stuart chose to demolish them but use the stone to build his new home.

The design for the new ‘croft’ house, which was produced with architect Liz Marinko, involved ‘rebuilding’ the original cottage and barn within the old footprint and to connect them with a contemporary glazed link.

The result is a contemporary take on a traditional croft, using reclaimed granite and Scottish larch, along with large expanses of frameless glazing — a family home, with a stunning central kitchen diner and breathtaking views.

Project Notes

  • Name: Stuart Archer
  • Project: Self build
  • Location: Spey Valley, Scotland
  • Build Time: June 2013 – Aug 2014
  • Size: 300m²
  • Plot Cost: Already owned
  • Build Cost: Approx. £480,000 (£1,600/m²)
  • Value: Unknown

Contemporary Croft House

The new house has been built on the footprint of the old barn and stone cottage which stood on the site.

stone croft self build with clad link

Highland Views

The large expanses of glazing and the contemporary link that connects the ‘barn’ and ‘cottage’ sections give stunning views.

kitchen with frameless sliding glazing

Kitchen Diner

Located in the central glazed link, the family kitchen diner uses a frameless Sky-France sliding door system

ceiling glazing in a kitchen diner to a stone croft

Within the dining area of the link, doors open out onto a terrace area with stunning mountain views.

Site Specific Design

To overcome the planners’ concerns about the ‘steading’ section being two storeys high, it has been partially sunk. The reclaimed stone works in brilliant contrast with the contemporary glazing and interesting changes in floor level.

stone hallway with glazed ceiling

Traditional Details

Classic timber panelling has been used throughout the interiors.

clad white walls of the bedroom
bedroom with cladding walls to bathroom

A Contemporary Twist

Within the glazed link, a more modern take on the timber panelling used elsewhere has been used, along with full-height sliding pocket doors.

timber clad link stone croft

Family Kitchen

modern kitchen in stone home

To both sides of the link framed glazed walkways allow the stone walls of the cottage and steading to cut through the space in order that the stone walls seamlessly change from external to internal features.

stone walkway in a croft to the open plan kitchen

The contrast of the traditional external materials with the light modern interiors is one of the key design elements. All of the granite was reclaimed from the old cottage and barns whilst the Scottish larch was sourced locally.

Double Height Spaces

A staircase leads to a mezzanine snug at first floor level with access to a balcony.

vaulted ceiling in living space with mezzanine
mezzanine level in an open plan stone croft rebuilt

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