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Sheep shelter studio by Moxon Architects

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Moxon Architects has converted a granite ‘steading’ or farm building in Aberdeenshire, once used to winter sheep, into a temporary work space for its own use

While the practice’s Scottish office awaits the completion of a permanent studio in 2018, this modest, sensitive conversion retains the protective agricultural character of the original building by using robust materials such as wide-boarded maritime pine and steel, which materially chime with the original granite structure. Most strikingly, the former, nearly square entrance to the steading has been glazed with a single sheet of glass. 

Inside, the studio incorporates the insertion of a steel ’block’ – a building within a building – which contains a kitchen, wet room and storage space. The steel has been parkerised, a treatment which uses a protective phosphate coating which has then been finished using beeswax, giving the steel surfaces a sense of richness and depth.

In contrast, the pine that is used on the floor, ceiling and treads of the stair is a pale, reddish-yellow in colour and establishes a contrasting continuity of surface and texture. Meanwhile, a wood-burning stove has been installed which serves as the primary source of heat to ward off raw highland winters.

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Architect’s statement

We had minimal time to transform Ardoch studio into comfortable and conducive temporary workspace for our Scottish team. However, the steading’s essential robustness of form and adaptability means that it is well suited for studio usage.

Surrounded by the hills of Cairngorms National Park, the location has provided the team with source of inspiration and a fresh perspective – it’s been the perfect interim spot before we move the team to a bigger space – a newbuild studio and workshop at a former quarry site in 2018.

Ben Addy, director, Moxon Architects

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Project data

Start on site June 2016
Completion November
Gross internal floor area 105m²
Construction cost £98,000
Architect Moxon Architects
Client Moxon Architects
Engineer Graeme Craig Consulting Engineers
Main contractor Tor Contracting
Steelwork Tor Contracting
Granite work Urquhart Stonemasonry 

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