House of Stone & Water
Scottish Borders, UK
Countryside House

“Gather round, fishes, those of you to the right still in the River Douro and those of you to the left in the River Duero, come closer all of you and advise me which language you speak when you cross the watery frontiers beneath (…)”

Josè Saramago, Journey to Portugal

Nestled in the Scottish Borders countryside in the southern Scotland, House of Stone and Water aims to build a place where the boundaries between inside and outside, between natural and artificial, are bound to blend with time.

In this context, known for its vegetation and breathtaking surroundings, the project makes use of the local flora to shape its direct landscape.

The composition of the house is made up of five blocks, each containing different functions and expressing varied levels of privacy. The blocks slip and slide along one another to create an arrangement which frames a small patio courtyard and swimming pool. Movement within the house parallels winding water in a rocky brook.

The fenestration allows for a high level of permeability and intertwines daily activities with the outside, thus connecting all functions in a flow of open and closed spaces. The void between the solid volumes becomes the mediator of daily life functions.

The water element of the house sits at the center of the composition and can be seen from the three blocks containing the entertainment functions. A shaded portico allows for a covered outdoor area and acts as a floating link between the main house and the detached sauna and change room.

In a smaller scale, the design of the facade reflects the communicative, open aspect of the house. The windows integrate inhabitable surfaces in its geometry, creating a new degree of contact to the outside landscape. The transparent elements of the building are designed not only to frame the landscape, but are also volumetrically composed to create significant yet inhabitable thresholds between the cosy interior and the vast countryside.

The brick, the mortar joints and the external base in polished slate-coloured concrete together make up a monochromatic system of monolithic blocks in composition in the landscape.


Client: Private 
Typology: Countryside house
Place: Scottish Borders, UK
Year: 2022
Sqm: 248
Architectural Design: ATOMAA
Design Team: Philip Kolevsohn, Letizia Ceriani, Konstantinos Ballis, Yolanda Guastaferro, Valentina Pastori, Matteo Previato
Photography: Alberto Strada

Concrete Specialist: Giambattista Caldara