Ann Nisbet Studio


West Balkello Farm: Shortlisted for RIAS Award

Wonderful news! Our Modern Farmhouse in Angus has been shortlisted for the Royal Incorporation of Architect’s in Scotland Architecture Awards. We are delighted for our clients Neil and Sandra Caul and the rest of the Caul family! Congratulations to all the members of the team.

We look forward to meeting the RIAS Judging panel and showing them around West Balkello Farm.

More information on the project [click here]

West Balkello Farm: Angus

West Balkello is a multi-generational house, located on a small working farm, which sensitively references the inherent characteristics of Strathmore’s unique rural vernacular. A building that is rooted in the local identity and creates a strong sense of place in both the immediate and wider landscape.

The initial design brief focused on the development of a new farmhouse for three-generations of the Caul family. The building was to be modern, low maintenance, sustainable and respond to the local landscape.

The site is accessed via an existing access road that runs north towards the Farmhouse, the south building, which is nestled into the landscape, is slowly revealed on approach. The track leads around and enters a courtyard, where the buildings are accessed.

The dwelling is designed within a cluster of three buildings, formed around a courtyard and nestled into the landscape on three sides. The buildings emulate the form and proportions of building found in the historic farms in this area of Angus.

Unique characteristics of Strathmore’s rural vernacular such as the hipped roof, first floor loft and access doors and large ground floor openings were researched and referenced in a modern way.

The buildings are clad in a simple palette of timber and metal cladding, which compliments the deep reds and purples of the Sidlaw hills to the north and the woodland to the west. The coloured metal emulates the traditional use of colour in the local farm buildings. 

The house employs a ground source heat pump with a 195m borehole, an MVHR system and has a ground array of PV’s, which generate more electricity than is required to run the farmhouse. A second borehole provides a private source of water.

Photographs: David Barbour

Area: House 250sqm Completion: 2022・ Client: Sandra and Neil Caul

Press: Grand Designs Magazine March 2024

Cuddymoss wins the Doolan Award for Best Building in Scotland

It’s incredible that Cuddymoss has won the Doolan Award for the Best Building in Scotland 2023!

Thank you to the Doolan Family, the The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, and the judging panel Ellie Strathaki, Tracy Meller and Chris Stewart for the recognition and for your wonderful comments:

“It’s a project that the jury felt came as close to perfection for its typology as we’ve seen,”

Congratulations to the team involved and all the sub-contractors and suppliers involved in the project. Thanks to North Ayrshire Planning & Building Control for their support.

It was such a privilege to work with our client on this project. His ideas about being a custodian rather than the owner of the ruin, set the direction for this whole project. It has been a truly wonderful experience.

Cuddymoss was explored through the idea of custodianship rather than ownership. Therefore, there is a strong focus on reuse of the existing building and making use of what materials are already available. The project incorporates ideas around circular economy, reuse, adaptability and demount ability all of which seems very timely in a climate emergency.

We could not think of a better way to celebrate the studio’s tenth year, than for Cuddymoss to be the first one-off house to win the Andrew Doolan Award for Best Building in Scotland.

09.23: Dundashill website goes live

The Masterplan envisages Dundashill as a new place to live defined by landscaped streets and paths that stitch together spaces for the new community to enjoy, from play areas, shared gardens and viewing platforms to street art murals and a new central square.

Maltings Wynd is Phase Two of the development and includes 35 townhouses designed by Ann Nisbet Studio. Construction started in January 2023 and will finish in Spring 2025, with first handovers from early Spring 2024.

More information can be found here

09.23: Longlisted for Dezeen Awards 2023

We are delighted that our Cuddymoss project has been recognised in the longlist for the Dezeen Awards. It’s wonderful to see our project alongside an international longlist of projects, including Mexico, Germany, Chile, New Zealand, Spain and Austria.

Longlisted projects have been selected from over 4,800 entries from 94 countries for the sixth edition of Dezeen Awards, which celebrates the world’s best architecture, interiors and design, as well as studios and individuals producing the most outstanding work.

More information on the longlist here

09.23: Shortlisted for Orkney’s Creative Catalyst

We are delighted to be one of six teams shortlisted for the Orkney’s Creative Catalyst competition. Our team includes: Narro Associates (Structural Engineer), Rybka (Mechanical Engineer), Fiona Sinclair (Conservation). We are very much looking forward to visiting Orkney and the wonderful Pier Art Centre, the Old Post Office Building and Linkshouse in the next few weeks.

The Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, Orkney was established in 1979 to provide a home for an important collection of British fine art donated by the author, peace activist and philanthropist Margaret Gardiner (1904 – 2005). 

The permanent collection includes works by major 20th Century artists Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Alfred Wallis, amongst others, as well as contemporary art by Sean Scully, Eva Rothschild and Olafur Eliasson. The collection also includes local artists including Sylvia Wishart and Stanley Cursiter. 

Patrick Heron described the collection as “One of the most distinguished and perfect smaller collections of 20th century art on permanent display anywhere in the world”

More information on Pier Art Centre

07.23: Cuddymoss shortlisted for the prestigious RIAS Doolan Award for Scotland’s best new building.

It’s such an honour for Cuddymoss to be shortlisted for the prestigious RIAS Doolan Award for Scotland’s best new building. We are delighted for our client, the rest of the design team, main contractor and everyone else who collaborated on the project.

This is the 21st year of the RIAS Doolan Award, which carries a £10,000 prize. The award was established in 2002 to celebrate Scotland’s best new building and named after its patron, architect and developer Andrew Doolan, who died in 2004.

The jury for the 2023 award is chaired by RSHP senior partner Tracy Meller, Wallpaper* architecture editor Ellie Stathaki, and RIAS president Chris Stewart.

‘We have a tough job to select a winner from the four outstanding buildings on this year’s Doolan Award shortlist,’ said Meller. ‘Whether unlocking a tricky urban challenge or doing justice to a remarkable rural setting, each has a superb relationship with its context. Their clients’ briefs could not be more different, and yet each building demonstrates exceptional imagination, skill and flair.’

The winner will be announced on 30 November.

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 designed to be inclusive and 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.

The project has been assessed by Stirling University’s Dementia Services Development Centre and has been awarded gold via their EADDAT assessment tool. We are currently working with DSDC to produce a series of short films about the design of Glendale: Harmless House.

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

Saltire Society Housing Award: 2023 Shortlisted


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


Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award 2023

Dezeen Award-Longlist 2023
RIBA House of the Year-Longlist 2023
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


Wallpaper Magazine November 2023
Grand Designs Magazine May/June 2023
Homes and Interiors Magazine Aug/Sept 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.