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The Roundhouse

Findhorn, Scotland

The design arrived on the commingling winds of a nautilus shell unearthed in a site drainage ditch, the 3 spiral sacred geometry of Triskele from the Celtic culture and a chance conversation with a fellow architect about interlocking spirals as a house form.

One morning without warning a 15 beam Reciprocal Frame array giving rise to 3 interlocking spirals erupted in relationship to internal space requirements and orientation to the sun. It took form as an upside-down house where living spaces are largely upstairs to take full advantage of the view of Findhorn Bay and bedrooms downstairs worked within the slope of the site and its solar aspect.

It revealed its passive solar self when Peter Murray, our structural engineer, suggested that the inter-floor might be formed of concrete to make construction simpler. It took some time to get past the use of concrete to see the potential offered by the placement of such a huge thermal mass within a well insulated envelope.

20 sq. metres of glass were the natural solution for the upper floor southern aspect with such a beautiful view.  The result is a house that  captures a significant contribution to its heating needs for 9 months of the year in the north of Scotland.

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