First View: Hawkhill, Lunan Bay

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Hawkhill overlooks Lunan Bay, near Montrose in Angus and the area has been farmed by the same family – who still own the land and the beach to the high water mark – since 1760.

The house was designed for the farmer’s young daughter who at the time was a dancer. As a result the house is open in a straight line from end to end, the romantic thought being that it would be possible to dance all the way through the building from one end to the other.

It is a linear house, with a precise private/public separation. A large living area at one side featuring a large kitchen, dining and lounge room, that is open internally to the ridge. The other side comprises bedrooms and bathrooms, with the master bedroom also open internally to the ridge. The entrance is exactly in the middle and in the same section but pulled outwards to leave a private space between, overlooking the beach. A first floor study opens to the living room and a first floor bedroom on the opposite side also features. Corner windows are used at all internal and external corners so that although blank on the road elevation the house can be seen from east to west and north to south.

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From the main road the elevation is solid stone with only slits separating each stone panel – the slits light up at night. The aim from the road was also to give the impression of a single storey house, however the roof pitch was raised to 55˚ to achieve the first floor with roof glazing facing the beach and windows into the court between the two blocks. The curved cap simply stops the ridge being too high. The client now breeds rare-breed pigs and their pigsties are the same profile and material as the curved ridge of the house.

Facing the beach is the maximum amount of glass possible under the Building Standards. Sliding doors are used at the entrance and living end but all windows are hinged internally, and can be used as doors in good weather, even the bathroom.

The design intention was to create two totally different elevations in both form and materials. A strong rhythm with the fenestration and timber cladding to the east was also a key aim. The gables are partly clad to achieve a horizontal emphasis, with all stone, cladding panels, windows and doors at exactly the same height.

Hawkhill received a Commendation at the Dundee Institute of Architects Awards 2010 in the category of Best Private House

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