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The New Steading – Best Use of Timber Awards 2019 Shortlist

Name of building
The New Steading
Building type
Ian O'Brien Studio
Ian O'Brien
Designer site
Main contractor

Kilgour Construction Ltd
Timber Frame - Rob Roy Homes

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The New Steading:

Ian O’Brien Studio


The New Steading in rural Perthshire by Ian O’Brien Studio is the latest addition to a farm that has been in the current family for nearly a century.


The main idea was to create an annexe to support the main farm building, a former shepherd’s cottage, which has provided a base and continuing link with the landscape for this branch of the family since the 1980s when the house was refurbished for use as a holiday home. Having extended the main cottage as far as possible to house three generations of the extended family, the decision was made to create a further satellite building providing flexible daytime accommodation.


The New Steading Interior looking out

The main requirement of the brief was for a new light-filled living room that would be able to take full advantage of the views out to the surrounding landscape. The decision was taken to tuck the New Steading within the walls of a ruined stone farm building and set it at the floor level of an adjacent shed to allow for a potential future connection to be created should any further expansion be required.


The New Steading, which also includes a shower room, was constructed via a bespoke, pre-fabricated timber frame from a local manufacturer, chosen to speed up assembly time and provide a wind and watertight structure in this remote location as quickly as possible. Externally the house is clad in Oak cut from the clients’ own trees.

The New Steading exterior


The Oak, which will silver over time to complement the dark grey sandstone of the enclosing stone walls and the adjacent shepherd’s cottage, has a rough, saw-cut finish and is arranged vertically in a board-on-board configuration to maximise texture and shadow.  Carefully set out stainless steel movement fixings, add a further layer of detail to the elevations. Galvanised steel gable flashings tucked in behind the cladding provide crisp verge details.

The New Steading exterior 2

Laminated timber and posts were combined with hidden steel beams to achieve the cantilever for the corner window as well as providing an open ceiling vault free of ties in the main room to meet the brief.


Images: Keith Hunter

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