Though its name borders on intimidating, The Houl is everything but; the house is a 2011 RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architecture) award recipient and is particularly notable for its environmentally conscious construction. Designed by Simon Winstanley Architects, the long-house form allows its eastern façade to follow the contour of the terrain as well as provides the residents a view of the stretches of grass and plain. With a zero carbon rating, the residence takes advantage of Scotland’s winds to power its wind turbine and assist in whole house recovery ventilation. The gabled roof is offset and sloped at different angles, which cleverly enables the two roof planes to act as appropriate wind barriers and coverings for the summer sun. The fissure in between the roof planes is just enough to act as a clerestory for sunlight penetration into the rooms of the house. The interior is a classic white plaster with hardwood floors, and contains an homey, earthen fireplace at its very heart.

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