The Strathblane House (2013), by architects ATA Studio, demonstrates the economic and other benefits that can be derived from repeated experience in the use of a specific building system.
The village of Strathblane sits in the southwestern part of Stirlingshire, 10 miles north of Glasgow and within easy commuting distance of Scotland’s largest city. Rainfall in this part of Scotland can be significant even in the summer months and, with temperatures generally several degrees lower than the rather more benign climate conditions found in the south of England, the insulation aspect of SIPs construction was perhaps one of the more pressing considerations in selecting this technology for use here.
The Strathblane House occupies the site of a former mill that had been the oldest and most significant building in the general area. The design of the detached dwelling has therefore adopted the linear form of its predecessor and taken further advantage of the incline to the surrounding, extensive garden by having its floor plan split into three levels, thus allowing the building to nestle gently into this peaceful location.
Its Glasgow-based architects have made something of a virtue of designing modern houses based on SIPs construction and this one extends the practice’s application of the system by supporting the walls on a steel framed raft, the dramatic cantilever of which projects the living space out over the sloping lawn to facilitate views of the waterfall that forms part of the landscape.
The house’s walls and asymmetrical roof planes are formed from Kingspan’s TEKHaus™ SIPs. The roof itself tilts upwards in the direction of the living room end of the house, with its deep glulam ridge beam running parallel with the eaves. Fixed at a slight angle to the vertical on the house’s long elevations and perpendicular to the eaves of the inclined roof, the western red cedar cladding boards have been finished with a blue-grey transparent stain. This dynamic relationship between the house’s simple rectangular form is counterbalanced by the jagged roof planes of the adjacent, detached and similarly-clad garage.
The Modern Timber House in the UK, chapter 2
Images: David Barbour