Tucked on a plot of elevated farmland on the Isle of Skye, the Colbost residence is an unfussy collection of geometric black buildings. Inspired by an old, black shed that sits nearby, the four structures that comprise the residence were designed by Dualchas Architects in order to provide the family with a cozy home that sits unobtrusively on the rising seaside landscape that surrounds it.
The collective form of the buildings was created to minimize the visual impact of the structures. When viewed from the front, the smaller buildings are tucked behind the larger ones, presenting a clean, simple facade that looks like a single structure instead of four. “The form developed out of a desire to lose the bulk of the relatively large building into the shadow of the cliff behind, so that the one and a half storey element containing all the bedrooms sits behind the main simple communal living space in front,” said Dualchas Architects.
The tallest structure houses two floors of bedrooms, while the single-story building next to it contains the communal living spaces, including the living room and kitchen. The smaller structures on the property contain a shelter for a heat pump, a shed and wood storage. The buildings’ arrangement creates an enclosed courtyard, which protects it from the coastal winds and creates a cozy central gathering space.
The simple all-black facade is achieved using stained Siberian larch strips on the exterior walls and corrugated aluminum, which is coated in a black finish, on the roof. There are no gutters or eaves to break up the exterior, giving the buildings a clean, geometric appearance.
Photos by Andrew Lee