Storm breaker

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - News -

On the re­mote Isle of Skye, a larch-clad, sparsely-fur­nished bothy of­fers ex­plor­ers con­tem­po­rary, calm shel­ter amid the rugged land­scape and rough seas

On the Isle of Skye, a larch-clad, sparsely fur­nished bothy of­fers ex­plor­ers con­tem­po­rary, calm shel­ter amid the rugged land­scape and rough seas that sur­round it

Aplot of land ought to be able to earn its keep. Or, at least, that was the think­ing of de­sign con­sul­tant Ja­son Bold and his wife Sarah, an artist, when they snapped up a croft on the Har­losh penin­sula off the Isle of Skye’s west coast. They re­alised they could make this small es­tate pay its way tra­di­tion­ally, by us­ing it to farm sheep and chick­ens, as well as in a more mod­ern way, by build­ing con­tem­po­rary bolt­holes around the site for hol­i­day lets. ‘ We quickly re­alised that, like us, peo­ple are at­tracted to mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture that is con­nected to the land­scape,’ says Ja­son. This in­formed the pair’s brief for lo­cal ar­chi­tec­ture prac­tice Dualchas, who came up with a sim­ple, sin­gle-storey lodge that al­lows the stun­ning scenery to take the lime­light.

The 70 square-me­tre split-level build­ing is di­vided into two halves: an open-plan kitchen and liv­ing space, and a bed­room-bath­room area. Both have floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows, mean­ing res­i­dents can look out over the tawny-brown Cuillin moun­tains as the sun rises in the east, or ad­mire the sun­set over Loch Vat­ten and Macleod’s Ta­bles (two flat-topped hills). ‘The area around Har­losh is char­ac­terised by the con­trast be­tween soft, rolling grass­land and sud­den, sharp drops at cliff edges down to sea lochs and in­lets,’ says Neil Stephen, the project’s lead ar­chi­tect. The de­sign echoes this jux­ta­po­si­tion: the angular sil­hou­ette be­lies a gen­tler in­te­rior. ‘The dé­cor is quite min­i­mal, yet mel­lowed by nat­u­ral el­e­ments and tex­ture,’ says Sarah. ‘For ex­am­ple, most of the fur­ni­ture is de­signed by us and hand­made in oak by a bril­liant Ed­in­burgh-based joiner, Na­mon Gas­ton.’ The os­ten­si­bly austere con­crete floor has been only slightly pol­ished to leave a vel­vety, still­matt fin­ish, and is lux­u­ri­ously heated through­out. The rich black Siberian larch that clads the ex­te­rior runs through the cen­tre of the house, too – quite lit­er­ally bring­ing the out­side in.

The home’s iso­lated lo­ca­tion, off ac­cess roads and mere me­tres from the sea edge, meant the project was chal­leng­ing, but the cou­ple are thrilled with the re­sult. ‘I love the house’s space, the light, the con­nec­tion to the weather,’ says Sarah. ‘ When ly­ing on the bed fac­ing the win­dows, you can watch the weather pass­ing by, be it sunshine or storms rolling in off the At­lantic. It feels like you’re about to float out over the croft.’ Har­losh sleeps two, from £975 for a three-night week­end, and can be booked on har­

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