Wester Tombain is a private residence located on the site of a ruined steading within the Cairngorm National Park, commanding spectacular panoramic views over the mountains and the Spey valley. This sensitive contemporary building follows the footprint of the original structure to create a family dwelling that offers all the comforts of modern design while retaining the vernacular structure’s intimate connection with its landscape setting.
The remains of the ruined steading are the primary generator of the design. The L-shaped footprint of the former structure is retained and considered as two distinct parts: sleeping quarters lie within the restored stone east wing, benefiting from its significant thermal mass, while flexible open-plan living areas are housed within an airy new timber structure extending at a right angle and clad in lapped boards of untreated Larch.
The two wings are connected by a glazed link and south-facing terrace which forms the social hub of the home, providing primary circulation and maintaining the scale and identity of the two different parts of the house. Sheltered from prevailing winds by the two arms of the house, this terrace creates a sheltered sun space that offers panoramic views out over the Cairngorms and draws light into the heart of the home.
Built using locally-sourced materials and assembled with the expertise of local tradesmen and contractors, the entire structure has been designed to minimise environmental impact and reduce the requirement for significant plant or machinery in this remote rural location. The stone steading is predominantly constructed using reclaimed granite from the existing ruined structure and has a natural slate roof, while a mono-pitched zinc roof complements the contemporary timber framed section, which is clad in vertical boards of unfinished Larch. The result is a contemporary home which offers a sensitive engagement with the surrounding landscape.