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Best use of timber 2013 shortlist – 4 Linsiadar

Name of building
4 Linsiadar
Date Completed
June 2011
Building type
4 Linsiadar, Isle of Lewis
Studio KAP Architects
Ms Margrit McLeod
Main contractor

Neil McKay & Co Ltd


The Project

Linsiadar House lies just across Loch Ceann Hulabhig from the stone circle of Calanais on the west coast of Lewis. Meshed into the archaeology of a former croft, this substantial new home hunkers down, cut into a site which slopes gently down to the sea. Its materials are elemental, its windows set deep within its dark stained timber skin. Yet within its protective exterior the house, is light and contemporary.

The new building engages physically with the ruined shell of the late 18th Century Tacksman’s house, reinhabiting and preserving its footprint with a raised sheltered garden, greenhouse and a tower for study and reflection on the wider landscape. The building interior – though offering moments of spatial surprise – is generally straightforward. The shape and location of the windows respond to views of the surrounding landscape.

Use of Timber

In response to the local climate and available resources the external envelope has a simple robust character. The timber cladding is a knotty, heavy gauge Scottish Larch used off the saw and fixed ship-lap to achieve an intense texture. Great care was taken to maintain the coursing of the boarding around the unconventional form of the building with the skilled joiner able to create stepped details at level changes and mitre the irregular plan forms.

In contrast the interior benefits from a light neutral treatment to walls and ceilings, exploiting the ever changing Hebridean daylight. Engineered oak flooring in two differents finishes works in conjunction with a light coloured stone tile to define distinct places in the house.

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