What does one do when they find the perfect piece of property and yet the house that sits there is, well, less than desirable? If you're Mitt Romney, you buy the property and tear down the house and build yourself something that better suits your ego.
If you're an architectural firm, like, say, WT Architecture, you keep the old structure, and actually refurbish, reinforce, and re-beautify it, while creating a new home that compliments the old.
Which is what they did on the tiny island of Coll, with just two hundred residents, off the coast of Scotland. It's a brand new home slotted delicately inside the [reinforced] crumbling stone ruins of an ancient local manor.
Meticulously planned around its predecessor, the new construction actually shelters the old from the fierce ocean winds, and takes advantage of existing wall heights, window perforations and more to create a beautiful balance.
Stainless steel frames were delicately introduced to help hold existing walls together, prop up the sagging chimney and support a new door-overhanging lintel made of local stone. While digging to pour a new foundation, bronze age pottery was found and carefully exhumed.
The open-plan interior has layers of fresh-finished wood, flat reflective glass and sleek black-coated steel right alongside aged stonework walls, setting them apart visually while tying everything together … and placing the rough vintage edges, cracks and crevices in easy-to-touch locations throughout.
For all the polish of the finished product, construction was anything but easy. Between the fragile frame of the building and the vicious winds, simply stabilizing the existing building remnants took WT Architecture months of careful planning and execution.
Overall, the intersections of modern forms and existing elements is beautifully balanced both from a large-scale and down-to-details perspective.
For the full story on the house, and more photos of the renovation, head over to WT Architecture.