The stone ruins of an 18th-century Scottish farmhouse have been brought back to life as the envelope for a surprisingly modern solar-powered home. Lily Jencks Studio and Nathanael Dorent Architecture crafted Ruin Studio with layers like a palimpsest, from the 200-year-old farmhouse frame to futuristic and tubular interior shell. In addition to the use of photovoltaics, the dwelling was built to near passivhaus standards and boasts a super-insulated envelope.
This unusual home located in the remote Scottish countryside retains an outwardly rural appearance with a pitched roof and exterior stone walls. Instead of using timber for the pitched envelope, however, the architects clad the structure in black waterproofing EDPM rubber. Stranger still is the pair of interior curved shells, inserted inside the rubber-clad envelope, made of insulating recycled polystyrene blocks and covered with glass-reinforced plastic. These white futuristic “tubes” serve as hallways connecting the centrally located communal areas with the bedrooms located on either end of the home.
“Emphasizing the narrative of time, these three layers also reflect different architectural expressions: the random natural erosion of stone walls, an archetypical minimalist pitched roof, and a free form double curved surface,” wrote the architects. “These three layers are not designed as independent parts, rather, they take on meaning as their relationship evolves through the building’s sections. They separate, come together, and intertwine, creating a series of architectural singularities, revealing simultaneous reading of time and space.”
Natural light fills the predominately white interior and large windows frame views of the Scottish countryside. The furnishings are kept minimalist and are mostly built from light-colored wood; gridded timber bookshelves located in the tube adhere to the curved walls. Portions of original stone walls are brought into the home.