Tinhouse demonstrates the beauty of simple forms, basic materials

Tinhouse exposed
© Rural Design Architects/ David Barbour

The Isle of Skye is barren and windy, and buildings are often simple and minimal. The latest from Rural Design Architects reflects this; the architects describe it:

The simple form recalls both the archetypal child’s image of a house and the rural sheds that sit as ghosts in the landscape alongside the ubiquitous white rendered crofthouses. Tinhouse is similarly scaled to the smaller sheds and contains one bedroom along with the living space, kitchen, and bathroom.

The external metal skin predominates as a protective layer against the often ferocious storms with minimal openings cut out for the view. The long, horizontal slot cut in to the north elevation creates a point from which to view the landscape and seascape in good weather and bad, from the inside, a perfect hide.

It is about 700 square feet of simple materials and recycled wood; even the furniture is made from scraps. It was designed and built by Gill Smith and Alan Dickson, principals of Rural Design as a rental property and “a new era for its authors who take inspiration and many creative ideas from the Tinhouse on to the next project.”

What I love about the work of Rural Design is how simple the forms are. Here is a building that really couldn’t be more basic in form, with not very much glazing, that won’t require much if any maintenance for decades. Yet inside it is bright and comfortable and modest. It's what Passivhaus architect Bronwyn Barry hashtags #BBB - "Boxy but beautiful"- simple forms make it much easier to get really radical building efficiency, as do relatively small windows that frame a view instead of just being big walls of glass. It requires a deft touch and a real sense of proportion.

Nice work by Rural Design, who also did the Hen House seen earlier on TreeHugger. Found in Dezeen. You can even rent it here.

Tinhouse demonstrates the beauty of simple forms, basic materials
You don't need gables on gables on gables, just keep it simple and elegant.

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