Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Scotland's Housing Expo

A nice day out in the sun it was not - due to torrential rain. However our day trip to Scotland's Housing Expo in Inverness was very worthwhile and interesting. 52 houses designed by some of Scotland’s leading architects, intended to inspire and stimulate quality design and innovation (building materials used included shingles, rubber, zinc, timber cladding and corrugated aluminium). Sustainability was a key feature throughout all the houses.
• House HS by Malcolm Fraser Architects - a super example of mixed materials, combining timber cladding and zinc
• The Passive Houses by HLM Architects won our award for simple, clean and green living.

• Our overall winner was Rural Design’s Secret Garden; the space was well thought out, warm and welcoming, practical yet quirky.

GMA Architects had also achieved a very settled looking house with the use of timber cladding painted a soft grey.
• Of the larger houses we liked Twin Peaks designed by Joseph Thurrott Architects; great space for modern living

Our thoughts on the downsides?
• Internally many felt somewhat pedestrian and were disappointing; a great lack of storage space, many small bedrooms and several slightly odd mezzanine areas.
• The impact of a few houses was greatly diminished by inappropriate overdressing. The Expo has perhaps missed a trick – such a great opportunity to showcase the best of contemporary furniture and lighting.

The downsides are small. Anyone interested in architecture and sustainability should visit the Expo – a good day out and lots of food for thought.

1 comment:

Douglas Dalgleish said...

Hello Tangram,
It is interesting, and probably revealing, that each visitor seems to have such different opinions about the EXPO houses. I think that every house had something interesting to offer. I delight in the diversity of intent, method and outcome, and my personal favourites are all different from yours. I agree with you that an intriguing variety of sustainable furnishing and lighting would have added to the show. So would a few completed gardens! However, simply getting most of these innovative houses built in time for the opening is a commendable achievement. I would like to think that ideas given form at the EXPO could find relevance in other parts of Scotland, so I put together a few pages promoting this concept at