Darklass Settlement


In 2006 Niall McLaughlin Architects were approached by a local landowner to design a small rural development in the North East of Scotland, approximately six miles from the coastal town of Nairn. The scheme consists of a loose gathering of six detached houses around a central open space which operates as an informal village green. The rural location of the site requires a unique sense of community and so, as well as giving each house a large private garden, we have incorporated a communal gathering space for the residents in the middle of the cluster of houses.

The design of the houses draws on local vernacular architecture. The houses are low built structures with pitched roofs, thick rendered walls and prominent chimneys. The internal layout of the houses also take their cue from the simplicity of the rural houses and farmhouses.

The houses each comprise of two distinct volumes, with a generous high-ceilinged, open-plan living area and a two-storey section that contains the bedrooms and bathrooms.  This distinction in the internal layout serves to reduce the impact of the housing on the site, giving the impression of a cluster of smaller dwellings.

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