Creagan Cottage

  • Private Commission
  • Isle of Tiree
  • Completed July 2013

The Clients presented us with a challenging brief; they owned a dilapidated cottage and wanted to turn it into a modern holiday home. The challenge lay in the approach we took to the restoration and in accommodating the necessary spaces in the small footprint.

We decided to return the building to a stable state and recreate the traditional Blackhouse form. We proposed to use the established building techniques and materials of the island to achieve this. We extended the dwelling, by adding a new living room as lean-to, in order to provide a larger living space.

Internally, the service spaces were located ‘back to back’ and use a minimal amount of space to increase the efficiency and give more space to the living areas. This project has provided a great opportunity to reliven a piece of the island’s heritage.


Client Testimonial

‘We approached Roots Design Workshop and asked for their help in renovating an old ruined cottage that we owned on the Island Of Tiree.  We already knew one of the Directors who is from Tiree and we thought that it would be good to support a local and newly formed company.  We also knew that Roots had carried out other projects on Tiree and that they were gaining a good reputation for their design work.

Roots carried out an initial survey of our buildings and within weeks they had come up with various interesting designs for converting the property.

Nothing was ever a problem for Chris or Micheal and for our convenience all our planning meetings with Roots were held in Edinburgh, where we stay. .

We quickly decided on the design that we preferred and Roots very quickly applied for planning which was approved in the usual local council time frame, building warrant was then applied for and was granted after several months.  Due to the fact that we were carrying out a renovation and we were keen to keep the Black House style, it was sometimes difficult to comply with all the building regulations, but due to Roots experience in this style of building and their good working relationship with the local planning office, all building warrant issues were quickly resolved.

The renovation is now well under way and should be completed by late Spring. During the renovation Roots have remained involved in a consultancy basis and they have been more than happy to help out when the builders have needed guidance or extra drawings.

No matter when you phone Michael or Chris you always get a good West Coast welcome and you can guarantee that they will always resolve any issues within days of your enquiry.

We’re confident their business will continue to flourish and am sure our newly renovated black house will be a good advert for Roots Design.’


Project Team

Client:  Donnie and Janice MacInnes
Main Contractor:  John MacKinnon Builders
Structural Engineer:  David Narro Associates
Quantity Surveyor:  Morham & Brotchie (Edinburgh)


Want to learn more?

If you have a building project in mind, or simply require specialist guidance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We offer free no obligation design consultations to help projects get started, so we would be delighted to hear from you.

Roots Design Workshop is a professionally accredited architectural practice. We specialise in contemporary designs of traditional rural buildings. We have particular expertise in sustainable, energy efficient solutions. We offer architectural design and project management services.  We have experience of working on restorations, alterations, extensions and new builds.  Our Clients range from private individuals to public national bodies.  We work on feasibility studies, planning permissions, building warrants, technical specification packages and can manage building work on site.

Our aim has been to make our services available to the isolated and under-served communities in rural Scotland.


Photography by Sebb Hathaway

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