Leachachan Barn | Rural Design
This traditional stone and slate barn stands on the south shore of Loch Duich in the Western Highlands of Scotland. It was originally built to shelter the farm’s working horses, and later used to store machinery. New owners bought the semi-derelict barn with an eye to using it as a family vacation home. They asked architect Alan Dickson of Rural Design to oversee the conversion.
From the outset, the owners and architect were determined to retain the barn’s character. The main façade facing the loch and the road was kept true to the original appearance, so it still looks very much like a working barn. The entire roof structure had to be replaced and windows were installed in the three existing door openings, with wood shutters replacing the original wood doors. On the side gable, the stone wall was rebuilt around a large new picture window giving the living area views of the mountains to the east. A wood-clad extension was added onto the back side of the barn, where it would be least visible.
Contrasting with the traditional outer appearance, a contemporary white living space was created inside. The main entry in the new wood extension leads into a central stair hall. From there, the large master bedroom is to the left in the west end of the original barn, the compact bathroom is straight ahead, and the open plan living area is to the right, taking up the east half. There is also a utility and laundry room in the extension.
The living area is open to the roof and exposed trusses, while the other half of the barn has a large open loft above. The stairs divide the loft into two distinct spaces, so if the owners wanted to, it would be easy to add a wall and create a second enclosed bedroom while still retaining an open loft overlooking the living area. Altogether, the converted barn has a floor area of 120 m2 (1,291 ft2).
Leachachan Barn is available for vacation rentals through Wilderness Cottages.
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