The Black House: How Glass Connects
Great architecture is no longer simply about the structure itself but its relationship with the surrounding landscape.At Gray & Dick, we understand that a glass installation is essential to relating a home to its surroundings.
Architecture And Nature
Great architecture is no longer simply about the structure itself but its relationship with the surrounding landscape. At Gray & Dick, we understand that a glass installation is essential to relating a home to its surroundings, blurring the edges between the outside and inside, uniting nature and home.
“The most lauded architectural projects today need not only be aesthetically beautiful and individually sound: they consider their natural surroundings and are fully integrated into their natural environment, acting as a part of a larger ecosystem.” - Conasür.
Our work with Dualchas architects on The Black House in Arndale, Skye, centred on intimacy with the landscape. Dualchas architect, Laura Stephen, said, “the ideas came from the site, almost entirely”, and we installed glass windows that would capture the site with minimal interruption.
Unsurprisingly, the site is one of intense natural beauty, uniting the land with the sea, flush with greenery, and exposed to a vast, all-encompassing sky. Gray & Dick worked with the architects to provide a journey into the depths of this two-story sunken home of glimpsed views and half-seen landscapes. As visitors emerge into the final room, they discover a dramatic vista and are suspended outward towards the sea.
We designed, supplied, and installed three fixed panels measuring 3.1m high and 2.3m wide to create this stunning view. We sealed frameless windows with silicone joints to capture the scene with minimal disruption. We also installed a minimal structural roof light with structural steel T sections to provide support and create more natural light inside the building. The front glass is double glazed 43.5mm thick laminated with solar control.
Portrait Of A Landscape
The result was one of breathtaking calm and beauty. The dramatic highland sky stretches over the rolling hills in the distance, encircling the cove that provides shifting light to create a changing pattern on the white building interior. A fishing boat gliding along the shore has the appearance of a painting; nature becomes a centrepiece and work of art. The ever-shifting water withdraws before returning to wash the coast, the sound intimately connecting those inside with the sea.
The Royal Institute of British Architects recognises that this exceptional minimalist tribute to the rugged Scottish landscape “adds to its environment instead of competing with it."
The Black House compliments and observes the landscape, inviting nature to communicate with the design. Carved into the rocks at the water’s edge, a work of art, a source of light, a stark and yet integrated sculpture. The view through the minimalist glass design window offers a performance of boats, tides and birdlife.
Outside, the structure is a dark and dramatic sculpture nestled into the cliff face and perfectly at home in its setting.
Gray & Dick is the market leader in designing, supplying, and installing high-end structural glazing. With more than 40 years of experience, we partner with the best brands to deliver a long-lasting product that will transform commercial properties.
To find out more about structural glazing from Gray & Dick, call us on 0141 952 9619 or send us a message via our website contact page.