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Rural Design on Grand Designs

Alan Dickson and Gill Smiths self build project will be profiled on Grand Designs on the 16th of July. This project has been in progress for a while, and is being self built by Alan during the weekends, but will hopefully be complete soon. You can follow the progress on twitter @littletinhouse


Office Relocation

We shall be closed for the next two days, as we are relocating the office to new premises in Portree.

From the 21st October our new contact details will be.

Rural Design Architects
The Green
Isle of Skye
IV51 9BT

Telephone 01478 613379


The Black House and The Hen House on TV

Two of our projects will be profiled on BBC2's 100k House tonight. The projects were both used as examples of how to use simple materials to improve design and to reduce costs. The Hen House can be seen on our website, the Black House is not quite complete, but we hope to have photographs on the site shortly. A preview can be seen on our In Progress section


Saltire Awards Success

For the sixth year in a row, Rural Design have received recognition at the Saltire Housing Design Awards. This year our Turf House project received a High Commendation.


RIAS Award

We are delighted to have received an RIAS Award for our Turf House project, this also means that the project is shortlisted for the annual Doolan Prize, which will be presented at the Scottish Parliament in November.

RIAS Award


Rural Design named Scotland's Best Practice

2013 has certainly started with a bang here on Skye.

We are delighted to have been selected by the readers and editorial staff of Urban Realm Magazine as Scotland's Best Practice.

John Glenday the editor of the magazine commented that the list focussed on practices currently producing the best work, rather than trading on past glories and that Rural Design are doing much to reshape opinion outwith the Urban Centres. Far from being a backwater Skye is now the place to go to see cutting-edge housing design in Scotland.

Leading designer Wayne Hemingway commented that the results show that even though it is now undisputedly harder for architects at any time in the professions history it hasn't impacted on design quality.

Practice Director Alan Dickson said - We had a great 2012, and received quite a lot of recognition for our work, however we were absolutely stunned when we heard that we had been placed in the top spot of all Scotland's architects. It is to our teams great credit that their efforts have achieved such acclaim.

Urban Realm


Rural Design on Grand Designs

Our project at Kendram, on the northern tip of Skye was profiled on Grand Designs this week. The project ran very smoothly (on time and on budget!), and has hopefully demonstrated that contemporary design can be achieved on a modest budget, in a rural context.

The project can be seen again on 4OD further information is available here.

Many thanks to Kevin McCloud and the team at Grand Designs for what turned out to be a very enjoyable experience.


Grand Designs Filming Completed

The Grand Designs team have completed their filming at our Kendram project.

The house was looking fantastic, many thanks to our contractor Donald Lamont who went beyond the call of duty in the last couple of weeks to finish everything off in time.

The programme will be airing on October 31st at 9.00pm

2012- 10-4

Poland Project

We are delighted to be able to reveal the work we have been undertaking on our project in Poland. This has been a fascinating exercise, and hopefully we will continue to explore opportunities that we may have working further afield. Please see the In Progress section of our website for more information.


Saltire Award

We are doubly delighted to have been awarded a prestigious Saltire Award for our Bogbain Mill project, together with the Saltire Innovation Award to recognise our work on the R.HOUSE project.


Grand Designs Progress

Our project at Kendram at the north end of Skye is moving on apace, watch this space for details of when the programme will air, and we receive the verdict of Kevin McCloud.


Another R.HOUSE Completed

Our latest R.HOUSE project has been completed in an incredible eight weeks from delivery to site. Located within a particularly sensitive wooded site near Skeabost Bridge on the Isle of Skye. This project is the first R.HOUSE to become available as a holiday let, and can be booked on this site



Awards for Rural Design

We are delighted to have been selected as one of the five Scottish projects to be awarded an RIBA Award, along with an RIAS Award for our Bogbain Mill Project near Dingwall

Sholto Humphries, President of the RIAS, commented:

“We had 71 submissions from throughout Scotland, ranging in scale from a few thousand pounds to over £60m. We cut this down to a brilliant shortlist of 23 projects. The fact that these have won awards testifies to the extraordinarily high standard and confirms that this new award is now the single most important recognition of architectural achievement in Scotland."

The judges citation read.

“This ingenious conversion of a rural mill creates a home within a landscaped setting which draws upon its industrial history to create a delightful contemporary living space. Existing walls create a series of sheltered garden courtyards. The plan is typically one room deep, with simple linear circulation. The existing fabric has been respected, incorporated, amended and extended without resorting to pastiche.”


Inspirational Designs

We are delighted that four of our projects have been selected by the Scottish Government Architecture and Place team as exemplar projects in their new web resource "Inspirational Designs" It is great to see the Isle of Skye, and the Highlands pulling above our weight once again.

Inspirational Designs


RIAS Awards

Rural Design has been shortlisted for this year's RIAS Awards for our project at Bogbain Mill.
The citation read, “This ingenious conversion of a rural mill creates a home within a superbly landscaped setting which beautifully blends its industrial history to create a delightful contemporary living space.”
The project will shortly be visited by the judges. The winners announcement will be made on the 20th of June.

RIAS Awards


Grand Designs

Our Kendram project at the north end of the Isle of Skye is going to be one of this year's projects on Channel 4's Grand Designs programme. Scheduled to air in the autumn, filming started this week and they will follow progress all the way to completion this summer.


The Black Shed has been featured in the Guardian as a perfect valentine getaway.

Black Shed


We are aware of some issues when viewing the website with Microsoft Internet Explorer, slideshows and some images in project pages will not load properly. While we try and address this we would suggest that the website is best viewed in Safari, Chrome or Firefox. - 2012-01-26 Update - Hopefully this has now been fixed, we have deleted the slideshows from the website and project page images are now in a column. If anybody does continue to have issues with viewing images on the website please let us know.


Corrugated Iron Buildings

Our colleague Nick Thomson has now become a published author, with his study into the tradition and history of corrugated iron building in the West Highlands.
Thoroughly recommended and available from Amazon


New Website

We are delighted to launch our new website for the start of 2012. New projects, additional content and improved navigation, together with a fresh new look, should ensure that the Rural Design Architects' website is an interesting place to visit during the coming year. The new design will allow us to make more frequent updates: look out for our many new projects that will be completed this year.


Saltire Awards

We are delighted that our project at Balvonie Braes in Inverness has been commended in the Saltire Housing Design Awards. This is our fourth year in a row that our work has been recognised in these eminent awards.

Saltire Housing Design Awards


R.HOUSE Launch

Following the completion of the first R.HOUSE we are delighted to have been part of the formal launch of the project, many thanks to everybody involved, in particular Blair and Tim at HunterDavies