LEE: Lodge at the Brough of Birsay

4B Technical Analysis Studio w Andrew Levitt, May-Aug 2017


The Orkney Islands are a land of raw elements, ancient beauty, and mystic gatherings. This lodge is wrought from
the stone of the natural landscape to give the visitors an elemental experience. Elevated as if pulled out of the hillside, the lodge creates sheltered outdoor spaces, lees, all around, above, and beneath it. The wind, rain, rock, and sky are the soul and shroud of this lodge.

These sheltered spaces serve all the residents including manager, diners, visitors, and especially the artists who are given magnificent vistas to paint. The orientation and rotation of the interior and exterior spaces visually connects all the inhabitants to the landscape around them and to each other. The design is driven comfort, both interior and exterior.

The lodge is sited on the leeward northern horn of the island to maximally mitigate wind and be elevated away from the waves. The natural slope of the site enables water drainage away from the building. It is partially embedded in the bedrock to increase thermal efficiency and as a strategy to collect groundwater. The lodge is kept as one building so that the mechanical systems can be compact and efficient. The building is oriented to the natural striations of tidal rocks for views and presents its long faces to the south and north.