Fernaig Cottage by Hopkins Architects: Renovation of A Former Shepherd’s Cottage

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Completed in 2016 by Hopkins Architects, Fernaig Cottage is a renovation project of a former shepherd’s cottage. It also includes adaption and extension, transforming a dilapidated historic structure for a sustainable future. With 85 sq.m. in size, this cottage has volumes and link with a common character internally.


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This cottage was a traditional Scottish Longhouse originally. The simple structure is built from the ancient Scottish Gneiss ground directly. The building is the only one that sits on the side of the Glen. The red tin roof is also appreciated by all locals as a beautiful landmark.



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The building has an original structure made of stone walls. This structure is retained but all other parts are removed. Together with additional material taken from the site and from the removed existing stones, new stone walls can create a new ‘sister’ building. This ‘sister’ building is adjacent to the structure but it is articulated from the original building clearly.

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In order to ensure a commonality of scale between each part, the new one is designed to a minimum footprint to preserve the aged apple trees and green space on the site. The re-used stone combines with new red roofs externally to unite two structures while at each end larch louvers can speak to the locally listed barns’ language.



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Volumes and the link have a common character externally while the spatial and material proposal can create a contrast and complement each part internally. In the existing structure, all existing openings have been retained due to the hardness of the old stone. This way also includes the appropriation of the old sheep’s door into a new window. The small punched openings and thick walls are complemented by new timber boarding to replace the old and create a bathroom and three intimate bedrooms.



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The new building in this project is an open and lofty single volume, providing an awesome scale that is different but also able to complement the old cottage. Punctuated by precise openings to the north, south, east, and west, the highly insulated new volume gives an ever-changing pattern of light throughout the season and day. With well-insulated new construction, an air source heat pump and MVHR system, breathable construction to the old, and the re-use of stone and minimum built volume, the building is highly sustainable.


Fernaig Cottage Gallery


Photography: Hopkins Architects