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Lecht Cottage, Aberdeenshire by Moxon Architects

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Comprising three derelict, conjoined buildings, this project involved restoring the main house, reconstructing a shop annex and refurbishing a water-powered threshing mill for use as a gallery

A south-facing extension creates an open living area, with a full-height corner window framing views across the valley. The property has no connection to utilities and makes use of small-scale geothermal technology to provide water heating.

A bore-hole heat collector in the grounds provides up to 100 per cent of all hot water and heating requirements for the property, reducing carbon emissions.
Cost: £80,000


Architect’s description of external sliding door detail

Materials were specified with their weathering characteristics in mind. Over time, the galvanised steel downpipe, larch boarding and roof will progressively become closer in tone and colour. They will ultimately take on a muted and delicate palette, in contrast with the brightness of the recently completed structure.

European larch, unlike its more Section taken where sliding door and glazing overlap widely available Japanese cousin, is a slow growing and resilient timber. It can be used untreated in harsh climates because of its high density and relatively high resin content. We have previously used it on a remote walker’s bridge in the Cairngorms (AJ Small Projects 2007, AJ 18.01.07), where the
joints have remained as tight, and the timber as stable, as when constructed.

The sliding wall is detailed to sit seamlessly alongside the adjacent fixed sections. Continuous boards were cut by the joiner, Scott Duthie, to form both sections of wall, for continuity of grain and
weathering across the elevation. This is already apparent in the varied tones of the boards but will become even more pronounced when weathered.

The sliding panel is largely of the same construction as the remainder of the extension - timber frame with larch rainscreen. The weight of the door is approximately 400kg, requiring heavy gauge sliding gear. The running gear is set flush with the floor, providing a seamless transition between the interior and exterior floor surfaces. Concealed drainage in the paving diverts water from the roof to a pond, with an overflow to the property’s soakaway.

Tall, frameless glazed units link the house to the extension. Where the extension meets the gable of the existing ‘but and ben’ cottage, the glazing is channelled directly into the exposed granite.

Bethany Wells, Moxon Architects

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