David and Hazel Narro chose to extend and renovate, rather than demolish this unassuming croft house.
Having grown up children now with children of their own, the basic requirement of the extension was to provide room to accommodate the entire family. As a structural engineer however, David had a wealth of experience to draw upon when it came to sketching out his design and the resulting build is testament to this, as it is a long way from basic! Now known as Easter Breakachy in deference to the site’s original name, their humble abode has been transformed into an environmentally efficient, contemporary and visually stunning home that takes full advantage of the amazing views.
David commissioned Helen Lucas Architects who worked with his own firm David Narro Associates, and employed Global Construction as the builders. The cottage was refurbished and extended extensively to the rear, with a primarily glazed, double height, open-plan kitchen / diner linking the original stone dwelling to the chiefly timber-clad, one-and-a-half storey timber-framed extension that houses the family’s living quarters.
In order to adhere to the environmental agenda and maintain the integrity of the site, local materials were sourced wherever possible. The locally quarried stone, Russwood’s Scotlarch® timber cladding (now weathered to an attractive silvery grey) and slate used on the exterior ensured that, despite the modern design, the house now blends in perfectly with the surrounding highland palette and does not stand out as being extravagantly modern. The building is also cleverly fitted to the hillside (which remains unlevelled) to disguise the extra height at the rear. Details such as these have proven to be very effective in lessening the impact of other modern touches, such as the solar panels that adorn the roof of the extension.
Prolific use of timber is a key feature of the ecologically-biased design internally, with timber frame displayed prominently in the glazed link building and Russwood’s Character A grade of solid oak floorboards underfoot throughout the home. With David’s policy of locally supplied products being critical to the building’s environmental objectives, Russwood happily furthered his green aims by providing in-house strength-graded Douglas Fir beams which were sourced (like our Scotlarch® cladding) within a 100 mile radius. The visual warmth of the wood complements the physical warmth afforded by the hemp insulation, ground source heat pump and high spec. glazing, resulting in a warm, relaxing and naturally well-lit interior that is perfect for family get-togethers and private retreats alike.
With our existing professional relationship with David, Russwood were very interested in his feedback regarding his personal experience with us, and we were delighted with what he had to say. “We used Russwood as suppliers of our flooring, cladding and expressed structural timbers as they were local to the project and because we knew that they would give a quality service and good advice, whilst supplying only appropriate materials. They are a friendly and very experienced team who gave us a service and supplied materials that could not have been bettered. They are rightly considered the leaders in their field.”
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