Conversion and extension of a circa 100 year old croft and redundant byre into a contemporary family home.  The croft and byre were renovated with a new wall construction behind the old stone walls and extending into a new gable form accommodation wing- connected via a flat roof form in a deliberate attempt to differentiate old and new.  Exposed stone features remain within the croft and byre which combined with modern elements give the house character and charm.


Use of materials includes traditional lime mortar pointed stone walls / natural slate / timber cladding/ corrugated sheet roofing and aluminium clad windows and doors.


Heating and hot water is generated via an air source heat pump.  Air is also re-circulated via a mechanical heat and ventilation recovery system.


A contemporary new build on an elevated site near Pitmedden. The site benefits from panoramic views from an elevated level however with the prime view at the North, the design solution needed to address how this could be captures whilst ensuring maximum natural light into the building.

The design solution is a series of vernacular forms connected with a contrasting and contemporary flat roof form. The gable forms are skewed on the site to open up to the panoramic views. A whisky snug to the West offers picture views to Pitmedden, evening light and a long-range view to the North. The main living space, comprising Kitchen, Dining and Sitting Room, has large picture windows to the North. Full height windows wrap around the corners of the gable to ensure the space benefits from both morning and evening sun.


The brief for Linkwood included consideration of renewable energy and most importantly a high-quality construction specification to reduce the building’s energy demands. The house is constructed using Scotframe’s “Val-U-Therm” kit system providing superior insulation qualities and allowing flexibility with large spanning open plan spaces and vaulted ceilings.


A simple pallete of external materials were proposed as a direct response to the local vernacular including natural slate, light coloured render, timber cladding and natural drystone walling.   


Eastside is a bold and contemporary rural home on the outskirts of Pitmedden in rural Aberdeenshire. The new building draws on the history and character of its agricultural past by occupying the original footprint of the existing steading and taking inspiration from the original distinctive long gable form.

The design solution retains full height sections of the steading wall, reduces other parts to a lower height and retains a traditional arched opening in the west gable end. In contrast, the extensive East glazed gable offers fantastic views from the raised living area to the garden and fantastic views to the surrounding countryside down the hill. 

The brief for Eastside included consideration of renewable energy and most importantly a high-performance construction to  reduce the building’s energy demands. The house is constructed within the existing walls of the steading using a timber frame panel system, forming an airtight and complete thermal envelope. The house utilises an innovative battery storage system with two Tesla Powerwall batteries to store surplus energy generated by the 8.54kWp photovoltaic panels. Heating is provided via an air source heat pump and an MVHR system has also been installed.

The external material choices reflect the simple, agricultural character of the site with a mix of natural stone, dark timber cladding, natural slate and box profile corrugated metal. Internally the material palette is softer, warmer, and more tactile with two feature walls lined with Ash and Beech. The interior spaces feature fittings that reflect the homeowner’s love of contemporary and timeless design, from Louis Poulsen ‘Flindt’ wall lights to Ligne Roset ‘Togo’ modular sofas.


West Kinharrachie Farmhouse is located on the outskirts of Ellon in rural Aberdeenshire. When RWA first visited the building in 2018 it had been derelict and in a state of disrepair for a number of years, causing deterioration to much of the building fabric. The project brief was to design a light and airy open plan home with clean lines and crisp detailing. The main challenge for RWA was how the original building could be adapted to achieve this favoured contemporary style. 

The design solution utilises the original building as the core form, using its stonework skin but with significant modifications to the fenestration to maximise natural light into the newly formed spaces behind. New and extended gable elements at the East (integrated Garage) and West (open plan K/D/L) are connected to the original building by flat roof links, ensuring it remains the predominant form. 

Our design ethos at RWA is to re-use existing buildings where possible. As is often said ‘the greenest building is one which already exists.’ Our project at West Kinharrachie retains in most part the original building and combined with a high -performance building fabric, air source heat pump and mechnical ventilation and heat recovery system provides a whole house sustainable design solution. The materials palette for new forms consists of Sioo:x coated timber cladding linking the flat roof forms as a contrast to the existing granite masonry. New gable elements are defined by a slate wrap, adding to the contemporary feel of the design. The garden frontage of the building is largely glazed, not only to maximise natural light into the building but so that the mature and established garden can be enjoyed from the principal living spaces.

© 2022 Rachael Walker Architects Ltd