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Great Detail: Maggie Mullan on Reiach and Hall’s bothy eaves

Aj great detail crop2
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The next in a series looking at the building details that have impressed and inspired our readers. Today: Maggie Mullan of Maggie Mullan Architects

Architect Reiach and Hall
Building Ackling Cook Bothy (2011)

Reiach and hall bothy detail

Reiach and hall bothy detail

While researching for the Boardman’s Scottish retreat in Cullachie of Rymore in 2014 I came across this project, set in a similar landscape. There is no other word that comes close to describing this little jewel: it is exquisite. The building form, materiality and detailing are a lesson in complete harmony. The scorched larch cladding blurs the edges of perception – where does the building end and the landscape and sky begin? Restrained in its palette, it delivers the best from each and every material. There is no gratuity here – just an overwhelming sense of the architect’s inate empathy with the resources at play.

Reiach and hall bothy 2

The eaves and verge details are the distillation of this elemental skill. Nothing superfluous – metal angles sealed with the EPDM skin of the building, form eaves and verge, a definitive element cloaked by the ethereal vertical cloak of scorched larch. The cladding plays with the eye, strobing with the grassland beyond – the colours echoing the sparse tree presence. Timber framed and super-insulated, windows are framed and accentuated internally with ply boxes, shuttered against the elements – an economy of means superbly celebrated. Cullachie has a backdrop of grey/black trees in a dense copse, and given the sensitivities of the site, we propose to reduce the visual impact of the retreat by blurring the edges as at Ackling Cook Bothy, echoing the colours, texture, rhythm and verticality of the woods.

Maggie Mullan is principal of Maggie Mullan Architects

Reiach and hall bothy 3

More on this project

You can see the full working detail, plus drawings and images in the AJ Buildings LibraryThe AJ Buildings Library is a resource exclusively for subscribers. Click here for information on our subscription packages.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Although it looks like it actually wasn't built according to the sketch detail - the EPDM on the roof has been left exposed. Unless the photographs were taken when the building was still incomplete?

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