The ‘broch’ at Balloch

The brief was to design a residential retreat with a performance hall for the charity group SISTEMA. SISTEMA provide musical escape, lessons, and equipment to children with little to no access to musical instruments or tutoring. There was a key emphasis on ‘Energy, landscape and culture’ within the brief that catalysed an environmental drive within me to produce as low carbon a building as possible.

Following an interest in traditional Scottish architecture I developed the ‘Broch at Balloch’. Two natural stone buildings sat at the edge of Loch, looking towards Ben Lomond, that provide a welcome escape for children on SISTEMA trips. They employ Passivhaus techniques that both implement and promote sustainability.

The concept of a ‘retreat’ within this retreat also catalysed an interest in landscaping the surrounding site. Anxiety and feeling overwhelmed is something everyone can relate to, and for children away from home for the first time this can sometimes be all too much. The garden spaces in my proposal provide a safe, secure environment for children, or adults, to breathe, relax, and take in their beautiful surroundings.

location plan

site plan

site plan
section elevation
garden plan


residential floor plans
performance hall elevation
performance hall section with context
the retreat
site sketches
the path to loch lomond
form exploration
garden sketch 2/2
garden sketch 1/2
flowers for the sensory garden