Kirk House is a red sandstone Victorian Church of Scotland, a reminder of a falling congregation, deconsicrated and sold on to our clients for conversion into a home. It sits between a railway line and a busy road on the edge of Garve. There is a wooded bank to the south and east rear elevations, and a long view to Ben Wyvis to the west and north.
Our approach was to preserve and respect the integrity of the church while creating a light, private and functioning home. There was no intention of trying to make it look like a house. Internally there is a kitchen diner with a stove on the ground floor and a living space above on a mezzanine floor. This space gets views through the trees and beyond to the mountains with privacy from the road. By looking carefully at the levels and window sill and head heights, this solution avoids cutting floor plates through the large windows. We preserved the integrity of the roof while drawing extra light and views through it.
The form and massing of the church is very powerful and we have respected the building for what it is. However, a number of external details; galvanised gutters and poured concrete wood store enclosure, a new light in the bell tower, a stainless steel door handle, give a hint to the new interior – light, spatially dynamic, beautifully lit and a functioning home with modern materials and fittings, and an attention to detail.