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When Paterson Gordon Architecture was briefed to develop a steading in Tarbet, they were handed an enormous challenge. Though Firkin Steading enjoyed stunning views over Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond, it was in a poor state of repair, with no vehicular access, electricity, fuel, water supply, drainage or telecommunications infrastructure. Nevertheless, the firm saw the potential to create a family home in this most striking of settings.

The clients asked Paterson Gordon Architecture to retain the form, materials and fenestration of the existing building, whilst adding a modern addition that would sit comfortably in the landscape. Using the steading’s traditional barn doors as inspiration, the architects designed timber extensions to the rear of the existing building. These were clad in Russwood Siberian Larch (SILA), a material that is echoed by the addition of sliding wooden shutters in the original building. The practical limitations of the site were solved through the installation of a ground source heat pump.

The architects said: “Our client was initially reluctant to use timber. However, after visiting Russwood’s yard at Newtonmore, they were very impressed with the team’s knowledge and expertise, and found the external cladding samples gallery particularly helpful in understanding how the cladding would weather.”

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