Riverside House

A Cross laminated timber structure to create a thermally efficient building with a dramatic sculptural interior and incredible views over the Sound of Mull.

About this project

Riverside House is a new-build, low energy, residential property on the Isle of Mull. The brief for this project was for a spacious three-bedroom residence on a site that has incredible views to the south-east down the Sound of Mull and over to Morvern.

The house sits at the end of a row of cottages, which are all white rendered masonry with natural slate roofs. The plot was defined by a traditional stone dyke to the east, the estate road to the white house to the south, the steep bank to the north and Keepers Cottage to the east, separated from the site by a large mature cherry tree.

The design proposal is comprised of two parts. The road-facing white house is designed in continuation of the massing and form of the existing row of cottages; while the timber clad element is designed to shadow this form and to visually recede into the slope at the back of the site. The two parts are linked by a dramatic hallway connecting the main living spaces. The architects wanted to respect the massing of the neighbouring cottages and worked hard to keep the brief of the house within an appropriate scale for the site, and to complete the existing row of cottages. The careful positioning of the massing elements respects the built context of the site, addresses the spectacular views, and provides exciting modern living spaces. 

The project has achieved Building Standards Silver Sustainability Certification. 

Use of Timber

The architect used a Cross laminated timber structure to create a thermally efficient building with a dramatic sculptural interior. The Cross-Laminated-Timber construction, which is exposed internally, allows roof geometry to define the different spaces in the open plan living areas. Different levels, nooks, and views are carefully placed to give glimpses across the internal spaces.

Timber: Cross laminated radiate pine structure. Scotlarch cladding.

ImagesJohnny Barrington

Key contacts


Thorne Wyness Architects


David Narro Associates


Norman MacDonald Builders

Timber supplier

Cladding: Russwood; CLT: Egoin

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