Building in Remote Locations

That breathtaking panoramic landscape view from your beautifully designed new home more often than not comes with a challenging build in a remote location. It’s a logistical balancing act, an architectural puzzle to solve - and there are a number of factors to weigh up for client, architect, and everyone involved in the project process.

1.0 Landscape

In remote locations - particularly Scottish ones - landscape is a crucial consideration. Sensitive design is a cornerstone of our practice as an architect, and it’s important that buildings are designed in close relation to their location. While it might be the initial thought, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they should ‘fit in’ or blend into the terrain. Where possible, the Brown & Brown ethos is that the topography of the land should shape the house built upon it, rather than the opposite.

2.0 Architectural Style

In order to complement the landscape, buildings should be restful and considered - rooted in their place and striking the crucial balance between local materials/build and a wider perspective on architectural practice. Simply put, while it may be based firmly in modern international styles of architecture, the design of your home should be distinctly and uniquely influenced by where it is built - whether it’s in a city location or a National Park. Our approach ensures careful consideration of vernacular architecture along with the client brief and overall vision for the project.

3.0 Access

Beyond even these considerations are the ‘nuts and bolts’ practicalities that can make all the difference to the likely success of a build project in a challenging spot. Remote locations are often difficult to service, and taking expert advice from an experienced architect on the feasibility of water supply and electricity is an essential step in the siting process. To live in comfort and style in a newly built home requires sound judgement at this stage. While the relative privacy and awe-inspiring vistas that come with these locations are a real blessing, access issues during design and build are something of a common curse. Bear in mind that increased difficulty usually means increased costs, and proposed build timescales should reflect any access difficulties surrounding the choice of site. Finding reliable and experienced partners and taking advice on this from all involved is the only way to assess the project with clarity and pragmatism.

4.0 Lifestyle

One thing often overlooked when planning a project like this, and probably one of the most crucial aspects of building in rural environs, is your lifestyle once you live there. Remote locations often shape how you live - it’s important not to expect the same living experience of living in a completely contrasting location, with ready access to amenities and conveniences on your doorstep. Living in Strathdon, for example, is a distinctly different lifestyle to living in Ferryhill Aberdeen - and you should be certain that building your home in a more secluded area is the right decision for you. A location like this brings with it refuge, peace and a daily connection to the natural landscape, and this remoteness should be something you feel ready to embrace. It is not for everyone.

For examples of Brown & Brown projects built in remote locations, see the following:

Spyon Cop, Cairngorms
Strathdon House, Newe
Upper Parkbrae, Oyne

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