The impressive development at Carrick Castle Estate was the vision of the estate owner, who worked closely with architects Puregreenspace to create this astonishingly modern cluster of estate buildings that complement the mountainous backdrop with an effortless Scottish romanticism.
Puregreenspace Architects specialise in sustainable design and despite the size of the development achieved the Gold Level award for sustainability. A state of the art energy strategy heats and lights the building and associated spa facilities entirely from renewable technology, as well as providing a 25% surplus to the grid. This was achieved using a huge array of ground source heat pumps which harvest potential energy from water running off the steep slopes behind. They in turn are powered by solar photovoltaics oriented to catch sunlight from the south skies and reflected off the loch. The super insulated building envelope and thermally massive floors are heated with a low pressure underfloor heating system which ensures that the building stays at a warm and stable temperature all year round.
The Estate had already commenced a large scale programme of carbon capture by instigating a vast but carefully manged tree planting scheme on the 8000-acre site. The concept of the design was to bring the forest into the Lodge, by conceiving it as an avenue of trees supporting the roof. This was achieved by using a sturdy arrangement of German engineered, glu-laminated columns and trusses with curved bracing slotted together precisely with dowels. The largest beam in the building was over 14m long and took a team of strongmen to lift into place. The muscularity of the building is balanced with the lightness of the glass which wraps around the first floor living areas giving the perfect viewing platform to immerse yourself in the stunning natural environment surrounding the development. Deep eaves allow access to the balconies all year round, preventing unwanted solar gain during the summer months but welcoming in the low sun during the winter, and of course, keeping the wind, rain and snow at bay in the fiercest of Scottish weather.
The building was designed with bedrooms and spa at the ground level unlocking the upper floors to the living areas. On the main living level doors can be opened up or closed down to create intimate or larger flowing space, all warmed by an impressive 1.5m wide glass fronted fire which uses waste woods harvested directly from the Estate. In the kitchen there is an impressive two storey atrium with an expressed roof structure above, and winding its way up through all three floors is a solid oak octagonal spiral stair, expressed externally as a perfectly proportioned octagonal stone tower.
All in all, the Lodge has been designed to give the highest levels of comfort and enjoyment whilst maintaining the utmost integrity and sustainability so the estate can be enjoyed for generations to come.
-Bruce Jamieson (Architect, Puregreenspace)