West Croftmore sits within the Pityoulish Estate on the River Spey in the Scottish Highlands. One of a cluster of buildings, the former agricultural store was constructed in a robust manner that reflected its original use, including thick solid masonry walls and a plan free from internal partitions and structural elements.
More recently, the building had succumbed to the climate, and was beginning to deteriorate as it shifted and showed evidence of structural weakness. A gradually evolving brief subsequently settled on two phases. Firstly, the building as a whole was stabilised and made water tight to provide a stable environment in which further internal works could take place. Secondly, the single volume was split into two distinct spaces, a painter’s studio for the owner and an adjoining volume used as.
The studio consists of a large open plan volume, served by a series of new roof lights that allow for the control of natural light and a small kitchen and shower room. On the floor above, a mezzanine level provides space for a bedroom that overlooks the studio and has views across the nearby landscape.
As well as providing accommodation for the owner, the studio also houses an artist’s residency programme. A robust palette of hardwearing materials was therefore selected as well as the reinforcement of all walls and ceilings to allow for the hanging of work. Exposed services were introduced throughout, intended to remain as flexible as possible in accommodating future changes and additions to the space, whilst capable of allowing for a wide variety of artistic working practices.
Constructed between October 2017 and November 2018.
Photography by Oskar Proctor.