Moxon Architects design modernist inspired highland hut

Culardoch Shieling, a mountain hut in Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands, has been completed by Moxon Architects. Located at the foot of Culardoch, the remote new shieling (Scottish Gaelic term for hut) looks out across the expanse of the scenic upper Glen Gairn.

Measuring just 47m², the building is a contemporary interpretation of humble structures such as traditional Scottish crofts and shepherds’ huts or Swiss Alpine shacks. Commissioned by the client as a unique place for entertaining on their highland estate, the hut is fitted with a long table for hosting these social gatherings.

Moxon’s design maximises the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape, whilst ensuring that the all–wood structure has minimal impact on the terrain itself. The structure comprises a simple cruck (curved timber) frame with deeply overhanging eaves and a roof covered in heather, moss and stone. This serves to camouflage the hut in the highland mountain range when viewed from above.

As well as taking cues from vernacular shelters, the design is informed by 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. 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. This composition also ensures a desired degree of privacy for the clients’ gatherings.

Inside, the hut is clad in spruce throughout. A wood burning stove ensures that visitors are able to enjoy the hut for long periods at a time in the winter months.

Ben Addy of Moxon Architects said:

“The hut was commissioned as an escape. Our design strives to be humble and humane but is also precise, playful and sophisticated.”