Unrestricted views across the loch enabled by sensitive Ardrishaig House Extension
APD’s client, Mary MacCallum Sullivan, is a well known psychotherapist, and was drawn to this tranquil spot in Argyll by the history and spirituality of the area. The site sits on a narrow strip of land between the Crinan Canal (to the west) and Loch Fyne (to the east), but the architecture of the existing Victorian villa did little to address this context, or the spectacular views down the loch towards the Isle of Arran.
The brief for the extension was therefore to create a space which took full advantage of the views, bringing light into the deep plan of the house whilst acknowledging - through the use of an appropriate palette of materials - the waterside context and often harsh weather conditions.
To achieve this, almost half of the ground floor gable wall was removed on the villa’s south façade and the new extension introduced. In contrast to the more introverted structure of the villa, this new younger sibling is open and outward-facing, its sloping form echoing the roofline of the existing building. A 4m-high glass wall fronts the loch to the eastern elevation, creating an airy lookout over the water. The glazing continues round to the south façade, opening up the views to Arran and providing access through a generous door into the surrounding garden.
Daylight streams from the extension into the living area (which is within the walls of the existing building), allowing this to be read as one unbroken space with the kitchen and dining areas. Outside, the extension has a strong sculptural quality. It is simply wrapped in staggered panels of dark grey zinc, with the large glazed panels supported by slim vertical fi ns. This restrained palette reflects the grey of the loch waters and relates to the stone walls and slate roofs of the neighbouring villas along the coast road.
New building services, double-glazed windows and insulation have been introduced throughout as part of a complete renovation of the building. Neil Taylor, Director of APD Architecture, comments: “It is quite unusual to have achieved planning consent for such a contemporary house extension in this context. The design was made permissible through the use of a building form and a limited palette of materials that closely relate to the original building, and the lochside environment.”