Isle of Mull Architects

Who we are…

Roots Design Workshop is an award-winning, professionally accredited, architectural practice. We specialise in contemporary sustainable designs of traditional rural buildings. We formed in 2009 and our aim has been to make our services available to the isolated and under-served communities in rural Scotland.


What we do on the Isle of Mull…

We offer professional architectural services for projects on the Isle of Mull. We have experience of working on restorations, alterations, renovations, extensions, and new builds. Our Clients range from private individuals to public national bodies. We can provide services for all project stages and we can deliver…

  • Feasibility studies
  • Planning permissions
  • Building warrants
  • Technical specification packages
  • Project management of building work on site


How we do it…

It may be an obvious thing to say, but it is worth saying, that we put our Client’s first. We believe we are here to help our Client’s fulfil their ambitions for their projects. We put a good Client relationship at the forefront of all our projects. A big part of what we do is listen to the Client’s needs so we can understand them and ultimately deliver them as best we can. We avoid unnecessary professional jargon, and aim to be as approachable and accessible as possible.

We also embark on regular tours of remote and isolated rural places in our mobile office, the Archivan. These tours allow us to learn about the places we visit at first hand so we are constantly building up our knowledge. We regularly host drop-in workshops on these tours where people can approach us for free, no obligation design advice on any building project they might have.


Our experiences on the Isle of Mull…

We have always been drawn to Mull by the combination of its landscape, people, music and buildings. Over the years we have completed a number of tours in the Archivan, such that we have now driven every km of every main road! We have hosted numerous drop-in workshops in both Craignure and Tobermory, and hope to host more in the near future.

Of course we like to enjoy ourselves while we are away and Mull has provided some great personal experiences for us; Chris’ first taste of cranachan and first siting of a wild deer (in the same afternoon), and one of the greatest panoramic views we have seen from the summit of Ben Mor. Mull also gives Micheal a chance to island-hop (and see trees and mountains!) as he is from the neighbouring island of Tiree.

We have also been lucky enough to meet and work with people from a number of organisations on the island, including MICT, USCA, Aros Hall and Round and About.


What we’ve learnt about the Isle of Mull…

Our experience is that the mountains, cliffs and forests of Mull provide a very different setting for people to live compared to the flatter, lower, treeless landscapes of neighbouring islands. As a result it has been said that many buildings on Mull have smaller slates, shallower roofs, open verges, larger windows, splayed copes and fewer porches than their equivalent on the islands further north and west*. This gives buildings on Mull a unique architectural character that we draw upon in our designs.

We also understand that people have been living on the island since 6000BC, and as such there is a full range of building types from which to take inspiration; from the Broch at Kilninian, to the grand castle at 19th Glengorm, to the no less charming 19th century cottages in Salen.

Further inspiration comes from the people themselves. The drive to have sustainable and clean energy through the Garmony Hydro Electric project, and to set-up new affordable housing in the Ulva Ferry area have shown us that Mull contains passionate, forward looking people that care about the long term sustainability of their communities.

*P.208, ‘Buildings of the Scottish Countryside’ by Robert J Naismith


Our work as a sustainable architecture studio on the Isle of Mull…

Our tours of rural communities have taken us all over the island and as such we have worked on projects in Lochbuie, Kellan, Achleck and Dervaig. The type and scale of the projects we have been involved with has been varied; we have worked on…

  • The alteration of a detached garage into a bespoke 2 person holiday chalet for a private Client
  • The renovation of a small traditional stone cottage in Loch Buie
  • A new build timber cottage in Kellan
  • The renovation of a stone cottage into contemporary affordable homes for a public body

Through our personal and professional experience of Mull we believe we have a strong understanding of what it is like to live and work on the island. We therefore know that our buildings have to be durable, energy efficient, sustainable, accessible and flexible, as well as fit in with the surrounding landscape and the island’s built heritage.


Why choose us?…

We are a personal and friendly architecture practice. We endeavour to make the experience of a building project as enjoyable and stress-free for our Clients as possible. Achieving this is in part to our ability to offer a complete and integrated design and project management service from the start to the finish of a project.

We go to great lengths to understand the places where we work, and to remain at the forefront of developments in the industry. All in order that we can deliver buildings that meet modern standards of living and performance while respecting the surrounding landscape and the island’s built heritage.

But please don’t just take our word for it, see what others have said about us.


Useful resources…

Starting out on a building project can be daunting. The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland website has a number of services available to the public that you might find useful, whether you are considering your first or your latest building project.


Become a Client…

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have a project you would like to discuss.

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Mull Architect Photo