The Island of Raasay is located between the mainland on the east and the Isle of Skye on the west. The site is clearly visible on the approach by ferry and lies a short distance from the pier within easy walking distance.
The island has an impressive natural topography including the unusual Dun Caan which influences the architectural form of our proposal. There is a relatively large range and variety of built heritage from the ruins of a C15th castle and a 2 mile stretch of road built by a single individual, to the remains of an iron ore extraction operation and the remains of a cleared village.
The site presents certain constraints: primarily the public road to the west, the steep slope of the site to the east and existing layout of the site buildings.
At the heart of the built form is a Victorian villa which had been subsumed and greatly diminished by low quality 1980s additions to the north, south and west.
Our approach is to liberate this building and put it at the centre of the distillery complex providing a bar and tasting room at ground floor level with high quality overnight accommodation for a limited number of guests at the upper level. The house has been sympathetically converted in a contemporary highland lodge style reinstating large ground floor windows and open fireplaces.
The scheme includes a new visitor’s centre element to the south of the original house. This building is glazed along its front edge allowing the space - which shares the additional functions of cafe, shop, orientation, interpretation, display and exhibition and community meeting spaces - opening up towards the panoramic view across Churchton Bay to Glamaig and The Cuillin.