RB Residence is contemporary building in a rural setting, which embodies a clear departure from the traditional notion of a farmhouse. Inspiration for the building’s form and materiality came from the agricultural vernacular of the adjacent farm buildings and those found throughout the Tweed Valley. The new accommodation is conceived as a reinterpretation of these utilitarian sheds and barns, built from readily available and low-cost materials such as rough-sawn timber, mild steel and profiled metal sheet roofing.
The house’s primary orientation follows a northeast to southwest axis, which is typical of agricultural and industrial buildings along the length of the Tweed Valley. On approach, the property appears as a simple, low-slung pitched roof, built in corrugated sheet metal and supported by a functional steel and glass frame – a ubiquitous form throughout the Borders. Overhanging eaves soften the building’s edge, blurring the threshold from inside to out and heightening engagement with the surrounding landscape. Beneath the eaves and the projecting gable roofs, a continuous terrace extending around the perimeter of the house creates a series of covered spaces of varying scales and outlooks.
Continuous timber walls running the length of the house are broken by sliding screens that can be drawn aside to reveal floor-to-ceiling glazed openings. These glazed screens also slide away so that living spaces can be opened up to the terraces on all elevations. This series of internal, covered and external spaces combined with the layered façade provides adaptability to suit seasonal uses. A rational plan with generous circulation both inside and out provides a series of single- and double-height linked spaces, each with their own character, scale and framed views across the fields to the Cheviot Hills. Glazed gables provide focused views to the farm steading and to the forested areas to the northeast.
East Lothian, Scotland
RB Residence Details
Dining Room + Kitchen
The stable block, studio-flat, and house are grouped around the terraced landscape to define a series of external spaces for different functions ranging from the more public entrance courtyard to private garden terraces. The terraces provide a degree of delineation to an otherwise untamed landscape, allowing wild meadow grasses and wildflowers to grow in and around formally defined spaces.