Grand design greeted with national acclaim

Skerrie House pictured by Michael Collins.
Skerrie House pictured by Michael Collins.

A STUNNING Cellardyke building has narrowly missed out on a prestigious architecture prize.

The extension to the ‘Skerrie House’ (pictured right), on the town’s John Street, was designed by Michael Collins of Oliver Chapman Architects and picked out as a possible winner of the ‘Architects Journal’ national award for small projects.

But despite subtly managing to marry the old of historic ‘Skinfasthaven’ with modern living, the building, a family home, ultimately lost out to a former workshop converted into an office and home in London.

Completed in July last year, it does however, remain a striking addition to the East Neuk.

Mr Collins was charged with transforming the use of what is effectively an ordinary 19th century fishing cottage – with its previously forward-facing living areas turned to face the sea.

Mr Collins explained: “Typically, dwellings in such settlements turned their back on the sea and grouped closely together to shelter the narrow streets behind from the elements.  “Our strategy involved using a modest budget creatively to challenge opening and re-engaging existing living areas to face the sea, but retaining the character of the existing dwelling.”

The crux of the design is a 19th century stair wrapped by the glazed extension, which contains both a new living room and kitchen.

One of the highlights of the building, which was featured in the May edition of Channel 4 television programme ‘Grand Designs’ accompanying magazine, is said to be the contrast in light and scale “experienced when moving through the existing dwelling, heightened by oblique views and unexpected glimpses of the sea”.