The small island named Coll is located in the NE of Scotland. This area is a place full of history which you will discover if you keep reading this article.
In this article we will talk about how a property built in mid 1700s has converted into a modern property which is inhabited by a typical contemporary family.
The history of this hundred years old house recreated in these modern times is not only an example of how this kind of properties are still used as living areas, but it shows also the capacity of the people to achieve the possibility to change wrecked properties into living houses that adapt to these modern times.
This article is not all about showing how some properties of hundred years can be reused to live in , it is also about discovering the options of life related to those properties.
The Maclean-Bristol family, the owners of this property, took a very important decision which also involved their three children.
The wrecked property has transformed into a very modern living space.
This wrecked house, originally built of limestone, was abandoned since the middle of the 19th century, when it resulted impossible to live in as it was too structurally damaged. This property was then passed to the list of abandoned properties.
Everything changed when a young couple with kids decided to convert that house into their residence.
The property was built by the Maclean, the owners of all the surrounding plots during that time. Built on sand, the property showed no interest to anyone in that period, until the young couple receives the invitation to visit this house on hereditary grounds.
It is obvious that no one wanted to consider the wrecked property as a good option for a permanent residence taking into consideration it was situated in a rural area with a very low number of inhabitants and in a place where although you could enjoy stunning views and landscapes it was known for severe winds that come from the Atlantic Ocean.
The views of the Atlantic Ocean are spectacular as also said by the lady herself looking through the huge windows :”there is no place in this house that it cannot be considered magical“.
We should mention that the landscapes offered by the rocky coast of Rough Bay or Grishipol (in Gaelic) are really spectacular.
A totally new way of life linked to such a property.
Although not expected for a couple made of an ex captain of the English army and a mother expert in oriental arts, moving into such a house was a huge change of life for them, too.
Trying to change this wrecked property was quite a difficult decision as it was a very drastic change of life which would also condition the lives of their little children.
Actually, this is the main factor that influenced this house which remained wrecked so many years, to become a modern family residence. This couple liked very much the idea of having their children in a rural area.
On the other hand, while the couple was trying to remodel the wrecked house, they did not want to take away its concept, because that house was converted through the years into the island´s heritage.
“We always wanted to be good with her (the property), with its ruins and with all it represented. Plus, the people of Coll are personally linked to this island. That is why we did not want to destroy such a heritage in order to convert it into something modern without any sense“.
In order to achieve a balance between their desires and necessities, the couple was helped by William Tunnell, an architect from the architecture firm WT in South Queensferry (close to Edinburgh) who had easily found the solution.
The construction work of the wrecked property last a year and a half and its price was initially around a million euros, but at the end the costs diminished a little. Most of the money spent on the wrecked house was for the main construction of the house and the other part of the money was for fixing the structural damages which made possible the continuity of such a huge house.
The new property has an H shape and counts with a large patio left as it was from the main ruins. It is now a modern house made on different levels, with several bedrooms, living room, kitchen, library and even a bar.
An oak huge stair gets us to the bedrooms and to other areas of the house such as the work area and offices. The property´s patio was left in his main form, just like the new owners found it: without any roof, its floor made of pebbles and the cracked walls.
A very interesting and significant aspect which shows the capacity of achieving the recycle of what was initially only ruins is the fact that the new property was made of recycled stone from the original house and has its exterior all in black. We should not forget the ceilings of the fishing bungalows made of asphalt.
Properties reflect a way of life!
Obviously, this type of project is not for any pocket, but is a good example of how wrecked properties can be recycled without taking their essence, including properties of hundred years.