“Is Tú Mo Ghrá” (Translation: You are my love)

The design of art lovers embraces the landscape and conquers the vulnerability of a natural design. Vulnerability is not something to be feared, rather embraced and conquered. The art form expressed in the house is the art of tea making. Tea drinking opens deeper, more meaningful conversations between
lovers when they come home to unwind. Reconnecting with each other, it’s a chance to sit down and talk with someone, more intimate and personal. Tea can be used as a symbol of love. As a house for art lovers, the design shares love by sharing a cup of tea.

Design Challenge

Our building supports and enhances the connection to nature. Since we are in a sloped and complex topography, we have taken advantage of it and used its natural characteristics to guide the overall design of the home. The biggest design challenge was implementing all the COTE Top 10 elements into the project. Working to achieve a sustainable design, the elements of COTE were taken into consideration. The mechanical systems and materials used in the project needed to provide certain levels of sustainable qualities. For example, we decided to go with cross-laminated timber (CLT) in order to significantly decrease the building’s total embodied energy as a major structural system. We also used concrete as a strip foundation and some retaining walls since we are building inside the mound. The design worked to limit the carbon footprint of the building, staying aware of the surrounding context. The other design challenge was incorporating the influence of Charles Rennie Mackintosh into the design. The original design program was derived from the design for art lovers designed by Mackintosh in 1901. Keeping the design feeling traditional to his design influence while also keeping the design contemporary was a major challenge.

Physical Context

This project has been inspired by the surrounding context of the site. Being in the rural South East of Glasgow, Scotland we have emphasized and celebrated the complex topographic movement of the natural space. Our approach to the design of the home is what will be done within – tea making, and botanical arts have played a significant role as to how we have oriented and layout the interior space. Hidden in the depths of dense forestry, the design emerges, protected and embraced by the surrounding landscape. Introducing more water into the site, the vulnerability of the untouched site starts to become exposed. Harvesting herbs and studying the landscape aids in the education of the botanical arts. The project worked to integrate the structure fully into the surrounding landscape, orienting the programmatic elements in relation to the elevation of the landscape. The mechanical services at the lowest level, buried in the ground. The public spaces sitting on top of the landscape, and the private spaces being tucked into back into the landscape.