Ann Nisbet Studio


06.23:Cuddymoss wins RIBA National Award

Delighted that Cuddymoss has won a RIBA National Award, The RIBA National Awards are given to buildings across the Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland in recognition of their significant contributions to architecture.

A wonderful award to receive for our client and the rest of the Team.

Commenting on the winning projects, RIBA president Simon Allford said: “At this time, when building collaboratively and working towards a sustainable future are paramount, the 2023 RIBA National Award winners offer a rich source of inspiration. Each project looks, in its own way, to address both its client brief and the wider role architecture can play in serving society.

“Among the winners are a number of projects that offer a model for an architecture that is more widely responsible. These buildings intelligently illustrate the potential of well-designed spaces to bring people together and, ultimately, architecture’s power to change our world for the better.

“Our awards are a marker of progressive excellence in sustainable design, very much aligned with our wider commitment to a low carbon future. These are examples of forward thinking and ingenuity that raise the bar for us all.”

06.23: New Home Retrofit wins RIAS Circular-Economy Award

Delighted that our Cuddymoss project in Ayrshire won the RIAS and Zero Waste Scotland Circular Economy Award on Thursday Night!

Sponsored by Zero Waste Scotland, the Circular Economy Design Award is a special category award within the annual RIAS Awards. A circular economy is part of the solution to the global climate emergency – one in which products and services are valued and made to last. Through this award, the RIAS and Zero Waste Scotland have worked in partnership over several years to promote circular economy approaches to building design and placemaking, with a view to minimising the construction industry’s environmental impact.

The 2023 RIAS Awards jury citation for the Circular Economy Design Award reads as follows:

“Conceived as a building within a ruin, Cuddymoss is a great example of a beautiful, honest, and high quality retrofit. Very few alterations have been made to the ruin itself and the new intervention – a primarily timber framed structure – has been designed with its (distant) future removal in mind. The client talks of themselves of custodians of the ruin, so that it can be re-used by future generations.

“The project has benefitted from a collaborative approach, with the client fully embracing the importance of carefully selected materials, even finding old bricks for re-use in the project. Ann Nisbet Studio have demonstrated an approach to retrofit of the highest quality, with an understanding the importance of adaptability, deconstructability, and use of natural, healthy materials in design.”

RIAS chief executive Tamsie Thomson said:

“Cuddymoss is a hugely deserving winner of the 2023 RIAS Circular Economy Award, and an outstanding example of how architects in Scotland are playing a critical role in delivering our net zero targets through the adaptive re-use of old buildings and the responsible use of materials. We are very grateful to Zero Waste Scotland for their sponsorship of the Circular Economy Award, and for their work alongside the RIAS to promote low energy and circular design.”

02.2023: Planning Approval in Perth and Kinross

Delighted to have obtained planning permission for our project near Dunkeld in Perthshire. The project consists of renovation work to the existing stone cottage, development of the barn to form an annex and a new timber clad outbuilding.

The project design includes a fabric first approach, focus on non toxic and natural materials, re-use of locally sourced materials. The annex will be heated via an air source heat pump and will employ water harvesting to reduce water usage.

01.2023: Carradale Harbour, Kintyre

Ann Nisbet Studio were appointed to undertake a focused feasibility study of Carradale Harbour, on the east coast of Kintyre. The proposals look at the redevelopment of the east side of the harbour, to accommodate workshops, office and outdoor working space. The development proposals free up space on the west side of the harbour for community development.

Glendale Cottage: Harmless House, Stirlingshire

The new dwelling is in the Campsie Fells near the Carron Valley Reservoir and forestry. The project is located on the western edge of a small cluster of houses, with westerly views, across agricultural land, up the valley towards Meikle Bin. The site locality experiences intensive weather conditions and is exposed to strong south-westerly winds.

Three important elements of the brief were to strive for a harmless house; it should be adaptable for old age with a focus on dementia; and reflect how the clients live and work.

The new dwelling consists of two linear one-storey buildings with a simple connection between. Offsetting the buildings created sheltered and defined ‘in-between’ spaces. Completely clad in robust black corrugated aluminium, the form and silhouette emulate the traditional forms and proportions of the local rural vernacular.

The buildings are orientated to maximise solar gain and provide shelter from the prevailing winds. Large shutters, clad in perforated aluminium, slide open to reveal a pend, which gives access to the rear of the site and provides a covered utilitarian space which also acts as gym, workshop, garage, and kayak/bicycle store.

The house is accessed via a sheltered orange door on the east-side of the connection building, from where all main spaces can be accessed.  The front building contains the main domestic spaces; a large bedroom with mezzanine, and kitchen and living space, which all open to the apex. A reading lobby with views of the garden connects the front to the rear building.

A flexible studio and workshop takes up the full length of the rear building. Large bi-fold doors open to extend the studio into the pend, allowing access for bikes to be brought into the workshop and models/artwork into the studio. A utility space is recessed into the wall of the studio and bike hangers are positioned along the opposite wall.

From an early stage the house was designed to be dementia and age friendly.  This influenced every aspect of the design including the layout, the material and tonal palette, the kitchen design, and sanitaryware and ironmongery specification. The aim was to incorporate the research and guidance used within care-homes and hospitals and apply this within a residential context in a design-led, non-institutional manner.

The project adopts a fabric first approach, utilising a deep timber frame construction and cellulose insulation. Natural boards and paints are used throughout. A renewables strategy was implemented consisting of an air source heat pump with underfloor heating. PVs with battery storage generate electricity for both the house and the client’s electric car and bikes.

Photographs: David Barbour

Area: House 126sqm (Pend 39sqm) Completion: 2022・ Client: Private


Residential Award: Scottish Design Awards 2023: Silver Award

Stirling Society of Architects Awards 2023: Best New Build Award


Homes and Interiors Magazine: March 2023

Continue reading…

11.2022: GIA Award for our Cuddymoss Project

We are delighted that our ‘Cuddymoss’ Project won the GIA Residential Award on Friday night at a ceremony held at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

The Judge’s commented: ”Ann Nisbet Studio has transformed an isolated rubble farmhouse ruin into a modest yet remarkable example of contemporary residential architecture. Appropriately austere in its visual landscape, the house achieves an attractively severe elegance, both inside and out. 

Cuddymoss is a perfect house for a bird watcher and is clearly loved by the client. ”

Congratulations and thanks to our client, and the rest of the team involved in the project.

Photo Credit: David Barbour

Cuddymoss: A House for a Bird Watcher

A dwelling house, located within and around a stone and brick ruin in the Ayrshire landscape. The project was conceived as a ‘building within a ruin’, and consists of a quiet, honest, and restrained intervention, extension, and outbuilding.

When we carried out our first site visit to Cuddymoss with our client, only four external stone walls, a concrete slab, two brick walls for separating cattle and a single internal stone wall remained. The roof had collapsed in several years before and the interior of the ruin was full of debris. The ruin had existed for over two hundred years, it would have provided shelter for people in one end of the building and animals in the other. It had most recently been used as a cow byre.

Every part of the existing ruin was measured and documented. A set of drawings and diagrams were produced illustrating the evolution of the structure from its original condition in the early 1800’s, through several iterations, until the most recent structural alterations incorporating Ayrshire brick.

A concept of an ‘intervention within the ruin’ was developed. This explored inserting a timber frame building within the existing stone structure, allowing the windows to be set back from the original stone openings, creating deep reveals, and visually creating two entities – the new and the old.

Existing ‘infilled openings’ were re-opened, with only one new opening being formed and located in the front elevation with a thin aluminium projecting frame and frameless glass. The stone and brick elevations were gently re-pointed and repaired.

A second building form is located perpendicular to the existing ruin. A retaining wall was introduced along the east elevation, nestling the building into the landscape.  

A simple glass link, routed into the stone wall creates a very simple connection between the new building and the stone ruin. Providing a pause space and a point to view both the external walls and the wider Ayrshire landscape.

A utilitarian outbuilding located to the east of the site completes the cluster.

A ground source heat pump and MVHR are employed for heating and ventilation, and water is supplied via a private borehole. A fabric first approach was followed to produce a well insulated building with triple glazed windows throughout.

Key Information

Area: 170sqm – Completion: Staged completion – Client: Private

“The project has benefitted from a collaborative approach, with the client fully embracing the importance of carefully selected materials, even finding old bricks for re-use in the project. Ann Nisbet Studio have demonstrated an approach to retrofit of the highest quality, with an understanding the importance of adaptability, deconstructability, and use of natural, healthy materials in design.”

RIAS Judging Panel


RIBA National Award 2023

RIAS Award for Architecture 2023

RIAS Circular Economy Design Award (Sponsored By Zero Waste Scotland)

GIA Design Residential Award 2022

GIA Design Sustainability Award 2022 – Finalist


Grand Designs Magazine May/June 2023

Photographs: David Barbour

02.22: Dundashill: Planning Submission

Bigg Regeneration is taking forward the next phase of development at Dundashill, Glasgow, with the submission of plans for 79-canalside homes.

The joint venture body owned by Scottish Canals and PfP Capital, managed by Igloo Regeneration, is delivering a broader 600-home masterplan for the hilltop site.

Ann Nisbet Studio has conceived a modern interpretation of industrial space, referencing the history of the site as a former distillery with a dedicated home working space on the top floor. Stallan Brand architects have designed a mix of open plan townhouses for the site, with the emphasis on flexibility

More information can be found here

01.22: Planning Approval in Ayrshire

We are delighted to have received planning for a new build house and annex in Ayrshire. The project consists of three volumnes formed around a number of courtyard spaces of varying sizes. The proposed house is clad in zinc and timber cladding.

12.2021: Planning Approval for project in the National Park

Delighted to have received Planning Approval for the renovation and extension of an existing ruined house and outbuilding in the National Park.

The existing cottage has significant structural issues and unfortunatly cannot be saved and therefore will have to be removed and replaced. Existing materials such as slate and stone will be salvaged and reused in the new house and landscaping.

The existing stone barn is to be retained, repaired and converted into the main living spaces for the new house.

We have now been given the go ahead to produce the working drawings and Building Warrant Packages. This project is due to commence on site in late summer 2022

09.2021: Skye Project wins RIAS Award for Architecture

We are delighted that our Mobile Micro Home in the Isle of Skye has won an RIAS Award for Architecture. Congratulations and thanks to our client Ali, Michael MacKinnon Joinery ( Main Contractor) Design Team and the rest of the team involved in the project.

Christina Gaiger, the RIAS president, said: “The covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of our built environment to individuals and communities, and the RIAS Awards are a moment to pause and celebrate the incredible difference that architects are making across the country.

“This year’s RIAS awards demonstrate the critical role architecture can play – whether that is delivering better homes and public services, addressing climate change, celebrating our shared culture and heritage, or simply giving moments of real delight. There is a real breadth in this year’s clutch of RIAS Awards, and each of them is a very worthy winner.”

Photo Credit: David Barbour

07.2021 – Planning Approved: New Sustainable Home in Lanarkshire

We are delighted to receive planning on this zinc and timber clad new house in the Lanarkshire landscape. This building gentle curves around the site allowing views to be captured on all sides of the new house. The form provides a sheltered outdoor space, which is accessed from key rooms in the house.

The materials zinc and siberian larch rain screen cladding emulate those commonly found in the rural landscape.

The Building Warrant and Construction packages are now under way and the project will commence on site in early 2022.

01.2021: Constructions starts on our ‘Garden House’ in Dumfries.

Construction has commenced on our Garden House in Dumfries. The new house is located in a mature garden and is formed from four brick clad volumes, which create private garden spaces and courtyards in the ‘in between’ spaces.

The new house is due to be completed in Autumn 2021

Further information on the project can be found in the ‘Work’ section

12.2020: Construction starts on New House on Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire.

Our timber clad house and outbuilding in the Isle of Arran commences on site

The house is located on the former site of  an historic Clachan and more recently a series of farm buildings. The new house is located within the stone ruins of the former dwellings, emulating the form, proportions and story of the former clachan.

12/2020 – Glasgow Institute of Architects: Conservation and Renovation Talk

We were delighted to be invited to talk about our Albert Drive renovation project at the Glasgow Institute of Architects: Conservation and Renovation series of talks.

The project is located on the ground floor of a converted sandstone villa within the Pollokshields’ Conservation Area, this project created a light, open plan kitchen forming a new central hub of a family home more images here

07. 2020 – Multi Generational Home in Angus starts on site

Our Multi Generational Farmhouse has started on site this month. Located in Angus, this new farmhouse has been designed to accommodate three generations of the same family. The form and design of the house references the  forms and characteristics of traditional farm buildings in this specific area of Angus.

The building is clad in zinc and larch cladding. The project employs a fabric first approach, with both buildings heated via a ground source heat pump.

We’re looking forward to seeing this project take shape over the next few months.

Homes and Interiors Magazine

Homes and Interiors Scotland Magazine
Project: Albert Drive, Polloksheilds, Glasgow
Article by Caroline Ednie
Photographs: David Barbour

Grand Designs Magazine

Grand Designs Magazine
Project: Altarf: Mobile Micro Home
Article by Caroline Ednie
Photographs: David Barbour

02.2020: Guest Lecture at Glasgow School of Art

We were delighted to be invited to talk to the Architecture students at the GSA  about our project that formed part of the Architecture Fringe Festival 2019, which looked at ideas relating to rejuvenating and re purposing Scotland’s abandoned coastal swimming pools  and our on going research into Scotland’s historic coastal and tidal pools.

We are looking forward to visiting PIttenween tidal pool with the students in the following few weeks and see their projects develop over the next couple of months.