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ISLE OF HARRIS, scotland


WoCo were commissioned to create a concept design that would transform a dilapidated outbuilding into a unique self-contained holiday let. The project was completed in 2018.

Located on the fringe of Northton, the Byre is a small stone structure on the Isle of Harris with nothing between it and the dramatic surrounding landscape. Our brief was to make use of the existing structure and create a contemporary intervention that would offer the inhabitants the best possible connection with the surrounding context.

Our design approach and name for the project (The Byre & The Bird's Nest) drew inspiration from Gaston Bachelard's architectural theories in 'The Poetics of Space' and is deeply rooted in the context of the surrounding landscape and historic local building forms. The thick masonry walls of the low-lying Byre offer a cave-like shelter and solidity, with its new roof form opening up in a gestural way with expansive framed views of the dramatic hills beyond. Whilst the lightweight timber frame construction and raised elevation of the tower gives a contrasting Bird's Nest / tree house spatial aesthetic and views to the Atlantic beyond.

Services – concept design, planning, building warrant approval, fabrication, logistics, on-site construction

The Byre & The Bird's Nest will be available to rent in Summer 2018, in addition to the existing main house 31 Northton.