Unit 5 have been working closely with the Balavil Estate and Historic Scotland to gain Listed Building consents for renovation work to the main 18th century Robert Adam House.
Other projects on the estate have included renovation and extensions to the existing Keepers’ houses, designing new staff cottages and lodges and many of the Agricultural outbuildings on the working estate.
An extract from the Press and Journal June 21st 2019:
“Things have changed on Balavil estate near Kingussie where scenes featuring chilly Kilwillie Castle were filmed for the popular TV series Monarch of the Glen. The estate buildings, including Balavil ‘Kilwillie’ House are in a multimillion-pound refurbishment programme to make them fully insulated and energy efficient. The former gatehouses, east and west lodge, have been completed, and ‘insulated to within an inch of their lives’, says factor Gary Culpan.
He said: “The estate buildings are being done up for staff accommodation, and have been refurbished with sustainability and maximum comfort in mind. “Getting insulation into old buildings without cavity walls involves stripping them out internally to the bare walls, creating a vapour barrier and then new walls. “We’ve had to dig out the floors and insulate them from scratch.”
The estate currently employs 13 people, with the renovations also creating local employment, Mr Culpan said.
The designers, unit5architects, have been tasked with creating a homogenous look across all the estate buildings, so the they all have the same look as the main house.
Now it’s the turn of the derelict old laundry to get a new lease of life. Balavil has lodged proposals to Highland Council to rebuild it as a six-car garage with two flats for staff on top. The architects say the new building will occupy the footprint of the old laundry which is too ruinous to rebuild. They say the proportions will match existing eaves and roof lines in proportion and scale, and will comfortably accommodate the flats above.
In line with the rest of the estate, they are proposing ‘a traditional palette of materials and elements of traditional Scottish rural architecture’ including white render walls, larch cladding, and dormer windows, but say they want to incorporate modern elements into the design. Extra dormers are proposed in the roof space creating additional headroom in the living accommodation. The architects say the development will use all technologies available to protect the environment and impact positively in terms of environmental impact and climate change.”