An Unfettered Life – Scotland Island House II by Sam Crawford Architects
Scotland Island, NSW, Australia
Born from a simple request, Scotland Island House II is founded on calming and casual principles of elemental living in response to its unique and removed location. Sam Crawford Architects returns the call for a relaxed and modest home through an embrace of its enviable views, layered with enriching materiality and texture, as an embodiment of an unfettered life.
Located in its same-named remote location in the Sydney area, Scotland Island House II forms part of a unique offshore community of like-minded people with a shared ethos to live simply. Accessible by water only, the island is home to a mere 600 people and is a special preserved place of unencumbered wildlife, founded on a shared respect for the local flora and fauna. Lying within the lands of the original inhabitants of the area, the Guringai people, remnants of previous life, rock engravings and fossils in the surrounding hills all form an important part of the story of the island. In response to such a connection to place, the resulting home is open and embracing of its surrounding landscape and nature. Sam Crawford Architects brings familiar elements of the family home together with a respectful approach to such a unique setting to create a series of spaces that connect to place.
In response to such a connection to place, the resulting home is open and embracing of its surrounding landscape and nature.
Built by RW Stidwell Constructions, together with engineering by Cantilever Consultants and landscape by Spirit Level Designs, Scotland Island Home II is the second iteration for the team on the island. Ensuring privacy from the neighbouring properties was able to be achieved was key, as was a feeling of openness of the outstretching views of Pittwater and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The intentionally lofted ceilings and expression of volume ensure there is a feeling of being within nature, not separated by it, and together with large operable openings, the outside elements are welcomed inward. Both as a sustainable initiative one as a reminder of place, the orientation and glazed elements invite floods of natural light deep into the spaces, passively heating and providing natural illumination, while also creating opportunities for natural ventilation as the air makes its way in and out.
Lines of natural timber boards line the internal ceilings, and together with expressed beams, are a reminder of the home’s structure and a stripping back of an all-too-common covering of structural elements within contemporary homes. A similar tone is used as the flooring element, bookmarking the home in a natural warmth. Joinery and an expressed balustrade and stair seemingly emerge from the flooring, connecting and grounding elements to the building proper, leaving the overall space to feel calm and uncluttered, dotted with minimal but intentional pieces of furniture to engage with throughout.
The intentionally lofted ceilings and expression of volume ensure there is a feeling of being within nature, not separated by it, and together with large operable openings, the outside elements are welcomed inward.
Scotland Island House II embodies a respectful and responsive approach, embracing its site and acting as the personification of the values of its siting. Sam Crawford Architects hones his previous engagement with the island and conjures a home of refined resolve that also allows an celebration of the surrounding bushland and unique views.