Covell Matthews Architects
Spring Cottage, Kinneff
Located just outside the village of Kinneff on the north east coast of Aberdeenshire, Spring Cottage is a single contemporary dwelling house created for a private client. The client’s chosen site contained an existing dilapidated dwelling, which was removed, and the new house erected over its footprint to minimise the impact on the natural landscape.
The site lies along a narrow, wooded, east-facing slope surrounded by agricultural land, with woodland to the south and rough grassed areas to the north. The site is steeply sloped across its length, and occupies an elevated position offering spectacular panoramic views across the farmed landscape to the sea beyond. The topography offered some technical and design challenges as well as significant opportunity, particularly in utilising the views to the east.
The sectional form of the house was the principal design generator with the functional cellular spaces stacked to the rear, against the slope and the public and principal living spaces occupying double height spaces to the east to enjoy the benefits of the sea views. A strong, mono-pitch roof not only reflects the general sloping topography of the site, but also responds to the height of the mature vegetation, which forms a backdrop to the house while robustly protecting the house from the elements.
Materials were selected to reflect both the natural and agricultural surroundings as well as the contemporary form of the house. The slate roof instantly lifts the exposed rocky slope of the site up into the air and yet it’s grey-green colour directly reflects the silvery bark and pale green leaves of the neighbouring beech trees. Zinc and glass are sharply detailed on the vertical surfaces to contrast with the rugged natural environs and beautiful hand-crafted details were created to deal with the worst the north-sea weather can bring.
The mono-pitch building fits snugly against the cliff face almost bridging the fall in the landscape resulting in an almost sculptural building form.