Rodić Davidson Architects

Highland Retreat

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Offering generous views over Glen Affric in the Caledonian pinewoods, our proposed Highland Retreat provides a place of refuge and repose away from the pressures of the city. It is designed with reference to the topography of the hill and the silhouette of the mountains beyond. As such, it not only engages with, but contributes instinctively to the natural terrain, its sedum roof and reflective glazing collapsing the binary between organic and synthetic.

An expansive seating area faces westwards from an elevated section of the open plan to provide an incredible panorama, while an advanced thermal spa facility frames the dense native vegetation from a slightly recessed vantage point. Roof and base slabs expressed in unpolished concrete provide a neutral base from which to observe the loch. In building on a v-shaped plan visibly projecting from the hill, our architects afford their work an ethereal quality. Reaching for and reflecting the deciduous woodlands, it is at once present and absent, in confluence with the ever-changing surrounding landscape.

As with the spa complex, the massing and materials of the neighbouring boathouse is restrained and in-keeping with the existing cluster of buildings on the estate. It comprises a pair of pitched roof pavilions, each generously glazed, clad in durable locally sourced timber, and resting on a pre-existing concrete plinth.

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