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Linsiadar House by StudioKAP

StudioKAP’s new house re-inhabits a previously agricultural site

The architect’s view

Linsiadar House lies just across Loch Ceann Hulabhig from the stone circle of Calanais on the west coast of Lewis. The oldest presence on the croft was the remains of three agricultural buildings, long and low, stretching out like fingers to present their gables to the loch, interlinked by dry-stone dykes and dominated by the ruined shell of an 18th century tacksman’s house. The new house was the first step in the process of re-inhabiting the site to regenerate its best characteristics. Though offering moments of spatial surprise, the building interior is generally straightforward and unfussy.

The shape and placement of windows respond to the context - orientation, landscape, distance - but the envelope is otherwise low-key. Form and massing do the work, allowing detailing to remain simple and understated: rough-sawn, darkstained ship-lap boarding, galvanised steel gutters, good quality windows, a slate and lead roof. A black cow lying in the grass.

Technically, the building is timber frame supplemented with steel. The external envelope provides high insulation and airtightness standards; areas of glazing are carefully measured for their location, orientation and scale. Hot water and space heating requirements are served by a geothermal heatpump. In the near future electrical power will be generated on site by wind turbine.

  • Roderick Kemsley, director in charge and project architect, StudioKAP

Project data

Start on site November 2009
Completion June 2011
Internal floor area including external wall thicknesses 284m²
Procurement traditional
Total cost £400,000
Cost per m² £2,100
Architect StudioKAP/Roderick Kemsley and Helen Baldi
Client Margrit Macleod
Structural engineer MacIver Consulting
M&E consultant N/A
Quantity surveyor Building Cost Consultants
Main contractor Neil MacKay & Co
CAD software used Vectorworks

Specified products


Cupa Heavy 8 natural slate

External cladding

Russwood pre-treated stained Scottish larch, square edged off the saw

Windows and doors

NorDan 1.2 series

External wood stain

Valtti Colour, one coat Valtti Colour to pre-treated boards, three coats Valtti Extra to hardwood liners


Delta Light, John Lewis, Impact Lighting


Wedi Fundo, Kaldewei, Hansgrohe, Duravit

Woodburning stove


Tower roof

Code 5 lead, welted joints

Tower roof glazing

Lareine Engineering

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