Half of Eleven

Dualchas Architects Ltd, Scotland, 2021



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Half of Eleven is a new self-build house for a young family, on a long held, but much neglected family croft.

It forms the first part of the regeneration of the land. The design is low lying and modest in scale, in part to appear unobtrusive and sympathetic to the coastal township of Breakish, and in part to be easily constructed by self-builders with a limited budget. The principal living space is glazed on two sides – taking advantage of the views up the Inner Sound to the front and opening out to a sunny, sheltered space to the rear. The main building element provides living spaces and bedrooms with a view to the north, with a lower perpendicular block comprising entrance, utility, and guest bedroom, separating a parking courtyard from the intimate garden courtyard to the south. Vertical untreated larch cladding has been utilised to allow the building to blend naturally with its surroundings, in a relatively exposed setting. Hit and miss screening to the front allows shelter for recessed windows and external circulation. Internally exposed timber beams provide a textured ceiling giving extra height, concealing lighting, and exposing the main structure. The open living areas are separated by oak ply dressers and a kitchen island, all set on a polished screed, which runs throughout. Socially, the project demonstrates that it is possible to build a family house of contextual responsiveness and architectural interest on a modest budget in a rural environment. In an area where both the economy and population are fragile, establishing that it is viable for young families to build and live here, whilst respecting the historic land pattern, strengthens the potential for rural communities to sustain growth.


  • Begun: Oct 2019
  • Completed: Aug 2021
  • Floor area: 162m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £275,000
  • Funding: Client funded
  • Tender date: Apr 2019
  • Procurement: Self Build
  • CO2 Emissions: 15kg/m2/year
  • Address: Scotland, IV42 8PY, United Kingdom

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