Our Island Home Design Competition Winner Announced


First affordable island house design prize awarded

Arc Architects, a small rural Fife practice named winner of Our Island Home Design Competition

Following a bumper entry of 50 designs from small architecture practices across the country the Our Island Home Design Competition award was presented today by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment at the Rural Housing Scotland Conference in Birnam.

The competition sponsored by the Prince’s Countryside Fund, Highlands + Islands Enterprise, Scottish Sea Farms, UPM Tilhill and BSW Timber Group asked architects to design an affordable 2 bedroom starter home suitable for the Hebrides that is easy to build and cheap to heat for under a challenging budget of £100,000.

From a shortlist of six projects – described by the Chair of the Judging Panel, Lesley Riddoch as “inspiring, practical, green and quite ingenious” , the judging panel selected a design by Tom Morton of Arc Architects, from Cupar as the winner.

Tom’s island home design was deemed ‘the most thoughtful submission’ by the judging panel.  The design features that aided its success in the competition were its low environmental impact, simple construction and aesthetic approach. It was important for the design to meet the vernacular of island life and Arc’s design made sure there was a porch for wellies, a larder and a shed outside.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“I was impressed by the standard of designs submitted and congratulate Arc Architects.  Housing is and will remain a priority for this Government and we will continue to invest in new affordable homes, which are particularly needed in rural areas.
“It’s great to give some of Scotland’s top architectural talent the opportunity to showcase their skills in a competition which is full of good intentions.”

Rural Housing Scotland will be working with community landowners and the winning architect to build the winning design in several locations in the Hebrides, with the first houses planned for the Isle of Mull

The shortlisted practices (in alphabetical order) were as follows:


Anta Architecture



Arc Architects – WINNER



Dualchas Architects



Rural Design

Rural Design


Thorne Wyness Architects



TW image
©Thorne Wyness 2014
Simon Winstanley Architects


Simon Winstanley