The Ruins Studio

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An architectural work of art.

To design this spectacular house in Scotland, Lily Jencks Studio collaborated with Nathanael Dorent Architecture. Located in the Scottish countryside, the award-winning Ruins Studio celebrates three different eras with a special and creative design. The architects preserved the old ruins of an 18th-century farmhouse while also maintaining their character. More specifically, the studios highlighted the different changes completed over the years by referencing the site’s history with a layered architectural concept that explores the narrative of time.

Within the natural stone walls sits a black house with an almost monolithic presence and an EPDM rubber clad pitched roof. Beyond the black cladding, the team installed a white, curvilinear “tube” that gives the interior a futuristic look. Made of recycled polystyrene with a wooden structure, the interior curved walls and surfaces also feature glass reinforced plastic. The three layers each have their own character, but they also establish a dialogue with one another. The ruins have aan eroded surface and beautiful textures while the black envelope is minimalist and contemporary. Inside, the almost flowing curved volume is organic and dynamic.

The more linear section of the tube contains the kitchen, living room, dining room, and study. Curving in dynamic silhouettes, the tube expands and detaches itself from the envelope to establish the private bedrooms and bathrooms. The wooden structure appears here and there, as if jutting forward to create seating and storage spaces. Carefully situated windows curate the views, framing rolling hills, dry stone walls, and green valleys. Finally, the new dwelling almost fulfills Passivhaus standards thanks to the insulation provided by the envelope and the installation of solar energy systems. The Ruins Studio has received several awards, including RICS Award 2017 in the “Design through innovation” category and a 2017 GIA Award in the “Residential” category. Photographs© Sergio Pirrone.

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