House with Columns
Island. Eight new house designs by architects from Scotland, Switzerland and Sweden for residents and incomers to the Hebridean island of Harris.
This project is part of the exhibition ISLAND, with other seven projects by Swiss, Scottish and Swedish architects: Angela Deuber, Pascal Flammer, Christ & Gantenbein, Neil Gillespie of Reiach & Hall, Raumbureau and Raphael Zuber.
At a location like the isle of Harris, we become intimate with the elements. As a consequence, time can be experienced physically; in the rhythm of breaking waves, in crossing a landscape formed by the slow movement of glaciers, and in the shifting and downpours of an open sky. An emotionally resonant, and perhaps also rational, architectural response to the exposure is to burrow. To gather behind low rock walls and peek through the slits. The blackhouse is a beautiful expression of this impulse. By lifting such a burrowing house above the ground, there is a release of tension. After this first step, new forms and materials seem possible. The design process for this house was a sifting and refinement of these forms, mediated through the program into a set of material gestures. The house contains tensions and balance. It expresses an ambiguity of desire inherent in seeking out a place of exposure to build a home. this house wards off, and celebrates, the elements.