Dualchas' 'The Black House' - Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award

September 26, 2019

A new Dualchas house on Skye is being pitched against some of the most iconic new buildings in Scotland for the biggest architectural prize in Scotland, The Doolan 'Best Building in Scotland Award'.

The award also offers the largest amount of prize money of any other architectural awards in the UK to the sum of £10,000. Next Friday the Black House will go up against six other buildings, including the V&A Dundee, The Macallan Distillery as well as the Visitors Centre in Craigellachie for the prestigous award.   


(Photograhy by Andrew Lee)

The Black House, which sits above the shore overlooking the ferry terminal at Armadale in Sleat, is the only house to have made the shorlist. The owners, Cordelia and Julian Thomas, are thrilled that their home is in such exalted company. " When we approached Dualchas we knew that we had found a great site, but we wanted a modern building to do it justice. What the design gives us is the real proximity to the sea with an astonishing wall of glass, but also a variety of spaces, and lots of natural light, which makes the house a joy to live in. For us it is an honour to see it on a shortlist beside such amazing buildings." 

For project architect, Laura Stephen, the key to the design was to create a sense of drama when moving through the house. "We wanted to drop the building in to a natural gulley in the shoreline. This was to reduce the impact of a two storey building but also position it as close to the shore as possible. The building on approach therefore looks very modest in scale, and there is no sense of what to expect as you pass through a low lobby space. You then enter in to a tall top lit atrium which you circulate around to the bedrooms and study. But it is only as you travel down the stairs to the dining area that the full drama of the site is revealed with a gable wall of glass framing the spectacular view across the Sound of Sleat." 

This is the third time Dualchas Architects has been shortlisted for the Doolan Award for a project on Skye. In 2012, a house at Boreraig on the Duirinish peninsula was shortlisted, with the neighbouring Cliff House making the shorlist in 2014. The award will be announced at a ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland on the 4th of October.

Next Post
Dualchas at Highland Cinema Open Day