Izat Arundell clads remote Outer Hebrides home with local stone

Thick walls of local stone shelter Caochan na Creige, a home in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides by local practice Izat Arundell designed to “sit respectfully in the landscape”.

Caochan na Creige – which means ‘little quiet one by the rock’ – is a small home perched in a sheltered inlet on the eastern coast of the islands, in an area called the Bay of Harris.

Looking to blend the home in with its dramatic surroundings, Izat Arundell finished the simple, timber-frame structure with blocks of local stone called Lewisian Gneiss.

Caochan na Creige stone house in Scotland by Izat Arundell
Caochan na Creige is situated on a sheltered inlet in the Outer Hebrides

“The Outer Hebrides are an incredibly remote and exposed environment, probably one of the wildest in Europe,” explained Izat Arundell director Eilidh Izat.

“The decision to work with Lewisian Gneiss seems like an obvious one and was naturally influenced by a desire for the house to sit respectfully in the landscape but also by the opportunity to collaborate with our friend and stonemason, Dan Macaulay,” she added.

Caochan na Creige features an irregular, angled plan, which was the result of “working with the landscape rather than against it,” ensuring that the building’s foundations avoided areas of incredibly hard rock on the site.

Stone exterior of a house in Scotland by Izat Arundell
External walls of the home were made of local stone

An entrance porch, utility area and skylit bathroom sit in the centre of the plan, with a bedroom protruding slightly to the northwest and a living room and kitchen occupying the entire eastern half of the home.

Designed to follow the sun throughout the day, full-height windows in the living area and dining room look southwards towards the island of Rùm, while narrow openings looking west capture the setting sun.

“The shape of the house was discovered through the building of a cardboard model and moving forms around the protruding rock: this is how the 135-degree-angle used was realised,” explains Izat.

“We then used this angle throughout the layout in different ways which demonstrates the strength of site-specific architecture and how it can be used to solve difficulties but also enhance the design,” she added.

Caochan na Creige stone house in Scotland
Full-height windows overlook the island of Rùm

Creating a warm contrast, wooden panelling lines the interiors, for which Eilidh’s brother, furniture maker Alastair Izat, helped create bespoke cabinets and shelving.

The site’s remote nature informed the simple material choices, as well as making it more viable to construct the timber frame on-site rather than prefabricating it.

Timber-lined interior of a stone home in Scotland
The home has a timber structure

Based in the Outer Hebrides, Izat Arundell was established in 2017 by Eilidh Izat and Jack Arundell following the completion of their first project, the conversion of a former blacksmith’s workshop in Edinburgh into a compact apartment.

The photography is by Richard Gaston.

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