Pat Law wanted a gathering place for collaboration and exchange of ideas amongst artists across the creative spectrum. These painters, sculptors, poets musicians and architects can work and stay in the quiet sylvan surroundings to pursue their craft. The main space in the building is the studio which is open into the roof with cool daylight from North facing rooflights and a great deal of warm daylight from full height glazed screens to the South. Perched in the steeply sloping back garden to the original farmhouse at Heriot Toun there are great views from both studio and its deck over the Heriot Water valley.

Andy Law was able to translate the brief into a simple timber longhouse that uses timber post foundations to sit lightly on the ground. The studio takes one end, which flows into a living space of sitting and kitchen areas, which then connects to discrete bedroom and shower room at the other end. To further reduce the eco footprint and give long term economies a ground source heat pump was installed. This combines well with the underfloor heating that runs invisibly through the building. The wood stove that also graces the studio is therefore present for back up and as a focus of the living space.

Peter Caunt is a neighbour and his company Quercus was the ideal partner to take on the design and build of the project. With timber cladding, post and beam structure, structurally insulated panels, natural wool insulation and underfloor heating experience could be brought to bear from previous projects using these techniques. Materials were sourced where possible in Scotland and toxic treatments avoided. The bespoke design was the result of a dialogue between Architect and Builder that allowed innovation with a full awareness of cost and practicality.

The studio has won many awards and has its own website www.heriot-toun.co.uk