Architecture

Moss and heather help contemporary hut blend into Scottish landscape

Moss and heather help contempo...
The Culardoch Shieling was commissioned by the owner of a highland estate in Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the British Isles
The Culardoch Shieling was commissioned by the owner of a highland estate in Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the British Isles
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Inside, the Culardoch Shieling's windows are strategically placed to offer the best views
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Inside, the Culardoch Shieling's windows are strategically placed to offer the best views
The Culardoch Shieling was completed in late 2016
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The Culardoch Shieling was completed in late 2016
The Culardoch Shieling's moss-covered roof helps it blend into the landscape
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The Culardoch Shieling's moss-covered roof helps it blend into the landscape
You can just about make out the Culardoch Shieling from afar
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You can just about make out the Culardoch Shieling from afar
The Culardoch Shieling was commissioned by the owner of a highland estate in Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the British Isles
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The Culardoch Shieling was commissioned by the owner of a highland estate in Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the British Isles
The Culardoch Shieling operates totally off-the-grid
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The Culardoch Shieling operates totally off-the-grid
The Culardoch Shieling's lighting comes either from natural light via the windows or candles
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The Culardoch Shieling's lighting comes either from natural light via the windows or candles
A large dining table dominates the interior of the Culardoch Shieling
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A large dining table dominates the interior of the Culardoch Shieling
The Culardoch Shieling takes some subtle design cues from 20th Century Modernism
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The Culardoch Shieling takes some subtle design cues from 20th Century Modernism
The Culardoch Shieling gets heat from a wood-burning stove
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The Culardoch Shieling gets heat from a wood-burning stove

Sometimes the simple ideas really are the best, as highlighted by this very basic but appealing mountain hut located in the Scottish Highlands. Designed by Moxon Architects, the Culardoch Shieling is a contemporary take on traditional Scottish which blends into the surrounding landscape thanks to a green roof.

The Culardoch Shieling joins the ranks of a number of attractive mountain huts and cabins we've seen of late, including Norway's Cabin Ustaoset and Skåpet Mountain Lodges. It was commissioned by the owner of a highland estate in Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the British Isles. It takes the "Shieling" part of its name from the Scottish Gaelic term for a hut.

It has a total floorspace of 47 sq m (505 sq ft) and comprises a timber frame with large overhanging eaves. The green roof is covered in moss, heather and stone, to ensure the hut doesn't unduly blight the terrain. Judging by the photos, it certainly seems to do the trick and you can barely make it out from above. In addition to traditional Scottish crofts and shepherds' huts, the design also takes some subtle cues from 20th Century Modernism.

"The monolithic form references the work of Alvar Aalto, whilst the irregular cut-out windows are a nod to Le Corbusier's Notre Dame Du Haut church at Ronchamp," says the firm. "At the Shieling, the window arrangement is used to precisely frame views out to particular landscape features such as the granite tors on the top of Ben Avon or a bend in the river Gairn."

The Culardoch Shieling gets heat from a wood-burning stove
The Culardoch Shieling gets heat from a wood-burning stove

To be clear, the hut isn't a home in any sense but instead is made to host gatherings and consists of a single room dominated by a long dining table. It's finished in spruce wood inside. We've no word on any toilet facilities so assume that visitors avail themselves of a suitable bush.

Naturally, given its remote location, the Culardoch Shieling operates off-the-grid. The only lighting comes from either sunlight or candles. Heating and cooking duties are handled by a wood-fired stove, while a small table is placed nearby for preparing food.

The hut was completed in late 2016.

Source: Moxon Architects

1 comment
Martin Winlow
'Hut' is a bit of an insult, really!