Public engagement project

Zinc House

Zinc House is one of a number of architectural projects guided by ‘Place, Programme & Presence’ as a critical framework for the realisation of new buildings exploring the serial development of types.

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Start date

January 2013

Completion date

January 2015

Extending from rural dwellings to new funding and procurement strategies for design-led suburban developments, the work questions how we should build in the countryside. The primary aim of this practice based research remains to create of a new work which reconciles what Robert Venturi expressed in ‘Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture’ as ‘The Difficult Whole’, whereby all the contributing dimensions of a design, plan, section, structure, material expression etc appear seamlessly resolved.  

The completed project has won both Scottish Design and RIAS awards, and was shortlisted in the RIBA ‘House of the Year’ award 2016.

Research questions

  1. How to develop a new and appropriate serial language for domestic buildings in an agricultural context
  2. How to utilise serial design principles, notably the dialectic, as conceptual and critical tools in the production of a recognisable collective body of work and which, as individual pieces, address unique physical, economic and socio-cultural contexts.
  3. How to extend local rural building traditions and techniques to make a new and appropriate architecture acknowledging of heritage in the widest sense


Project lead(s)

Professor Graeme Hutton