Tigh Na Cladach

  • Tigh Na Cladach
  • Tigh Na Cladach 1
  • Tigh Na Cladach 2
  • Tigh Na Cladach 3

Key features: 

Planning proposal 

Erection of residential development (comprising 5 dwellinghouses, 9 flats and  workshop) and formation of vehicular access

Architect / agent


Why this is a good design

Tigh-Na-Cladach (Gaelic meaning 'Houses by the Shore') was designed by Architect Gokay Deveci who took his inspiration from Brighton Beach Huts with their terraced arrangement along the shoreline.

Tigh-Na-Cladach boasts an unrivalled location with spectacular views over the Firth of Clyde and is less than 1 mile from the seaside town of Dunoon. The development consists of 14 new homes, with features such as private roof-top spaces and gardens. With energy consumption in mind, the properties also benefit from Passivhaus technologies including super insulation and triple-glazing and one of the properties has been built to full Passivhaus standards.

The client’s aims were to develop proposals that would facilitate the provision of affordable, good quality and low-energy designs of one, two and three bedroom family houses to be sold as ‘Homestake’ (shared equity). This scheme allows first time buyers to purchase between 51-80% of the property, leaving the remaining ‘golden’ share within the ownership of Fyne Initiatives. Community participation took place in November 2007, when three design options of terraced and semi-detached houses were presented to seek local community reactions to redevelop the site of the former two-storey Bethania building.

The proposed two-storey terraced development comprises five blocks of double pitch roofed buildings, gable-end on to the River Clyde and linked by ground floor accommodation with roof terraces on the upper levels. The buildings are finished externally in mainly smooth render, coloured in a range of pastel colours, typical of gabled Scottish coastal villages and beach huts, with small areas of untreated larch. The roofs are covered in natural slates with solar panels inserted.  A new vehicular access is proposed at the northern end of the site running along the rear of the terrace where a turning head and car parking spaces would be located.

The overall design typology follows the traditional built form of fishing villages arrangement where gables are facing the sea in an effort to reduce weather exposure and prevailing winds. Although white render finish is the most common tradition, there are many examples in coastal areas where contrasting colours are used that add a strong sense of place and vitality. The massing arrangement creates a two storey ‘street of double gables’ with a gap between to accommodate south facing one-bed units with exclusive use of roof gardens.

The architecture is considered innovative and responds creatively to the demands of this waterfront site. A special effort was made to ensure that the architectural form and proportions were in harmony with the essence of Scottish vernacular architecture.

The scheme is also the first in the UK to be officially accredited by the German Passive House Institute. Its criteria demand that total energy use, including space heating and all the appliances and domestic hot water is less than 120 kWh/m2/ year. The heating requirement is reduced by means of passive measures to the point that there is no longer any need for a conventional heating system. The heating requirement for one of the house is 1,600 kWh/year, which is approximately a tenth of what an average house uses. A solar thermal system further reduces the energy bill for hot water by over 50%. In fact, it is the equivalent of using three car tanks of diesel to heat the house for a year.

All 14 of the properties were sold quickly to local people, mainly first time buyers within 2 months of completing the project on 5 April 2010. The project proves that sustainable and energy efficient design is possible on a social housing budget. Affordability was not achieved at the expense of architectural design or construction quality. Indeed, the design solutions we arrived at met the requirements of best practice in environmental sustainability. The contractors were John Brown (Strone) Ltd and the project was completed on time and on budget.