Dualchas Architects celebrated turning 21 at an office party and brand launch last thursday on the Isle of Skye. Staff from both Glasgow and Skye, as well as invited guests and journalists, enjoyed food from Michelin chef Marcello Tulley of Kinloch as well as speeches and video presentations.

Alasdair and Neil Stephen founded their practice from a desire to see good new housing in the Highlands of Scotland.  A new modern longhouse was developed with a simple objective; to offer an affordable beautifully designed alternative that could be seen as part of the cultural regeneration of the Highlands. The design ethos is often described as ‘the architecture of restraint’; simple in form, highly finessed and in harmony with the landscape.

Central to the new Dualchas brand is the charging goat.  Whilst people were cleared across the Highlands and often replaced with sheep, the domestic goat remained, becoming feral in the remote glens. It is an iconic symbol of resistance and survival.

Co-founder of Dualchas, Neil Stephen said:

“Our manifesto comes from the idea of what architecture can do for cultural confidence and helping Highland architecture be important.  When you look at what Dualchas does in contrast to other practices, it has been clear we have led the way in establishing that.

For 21 years our work has centred on the premise that by instilling community confidence and value in architecture, you can help sustain rural communities through good design.

As a practice, we want our design to stand the test of time. And to do that architecture must connect, it must be of a place, otherwise the next generation won’t cherish it and it will end up being a ruin or a memory. That’s how you design buildings that are truly sustainable.”

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