Renovated Muckle Roe Chapel shortlisted for design award

A renovation project in Muckle Roe has been shortlisted for a design award.

The former Muckle Roe Chapel underwent renovations to become a dwelling house during 2014.

Aberdeen-based couple Senga and Bogi Vang carried out the work after buying the house from the Church of Scotland.

Their efforts were based on designs drawn up by local firm Richard Gibson Architects.

Now the building is in the running for the Alterations, Renovation and Extensions category of the 2016 Saltire Society Housing Design Awards.

Mrs Vang, who is originally from Muckle Roe, was closely involved with the project and was assisted by Leask and Wood, who were the main building firm on the project. Members of her family still in Shetland also chipped in on the project.

The property acts as holiday house for the couple and their children when they return to Mrs Vang’s home for family holidays. During the rest of the year the property is available for rent.

Mrs Vang said that she was “surprised” and “delighted” to be shortlisted for the award.

She said that the idea to buy a holiday home in Shetland was one that she and her husband had considered for some time and that when she realised a building she remembered from her childhood was up for sale they decided to take a look “and fell in love with it.”

Mrs Vang took a keen interest in shaping the design of the project and worked alongside the architects to realise her vision for the property.

She said: “We were obviously guided by the architects but they were fantastic at allowing us to be involved. We had lots of discussions about the designs.”

Mrs Vang added: “Everyone in Muckle Roe knows the building and some people were married in it so it was important to me that we did something which the community could approve of. We didn’t want to change it too much.”

She also sought to thank the tradesmen at Leask and Wood who she said did “fabulous work.”

Nick Brett, architect on the project and co-director of Richard Gibson Architects said that it was “very pleasing” to hear that their design had been shortlisted.

Mr Brett characterised the property as “small and neat” with “great views” overlooking the sea. He also described the project as an enjoyable to work on, citing the “nice family connection” as a particularly satisfying aspect.

The exterior of the renovated Muckle Roe Chapel
The exterior of the renovated Muckle Roe Chapel

As part of the renovation process the chapel underwent an extension to increase the floor area.

A listing for the property on the Saltire Society shortlist says that this created “a contemporary and simplistic living space with light airy spaces and breath-taking views of the sea and landscape.”

Five other properties are in the running including three Edinburgh projects, one in East Lothian and one in Roxburghshire.

The awards ceremony will take place on 30th June at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation and will be judged by a panel featuring guest chairwoman Kirsty Wark.

Commenting on this year’s Saltire Society Housing Design Awards she said: “There’s so much creativity in the housing sector in Scotland, such thoughtful forward thinking architecture and design which enhances our cityscapes and landscapes, so that our houses can be a joy to experience.”

Jude Barber, convener of the Saltire Society Housing Design Awards said: “The standard of shortlisted entries has, as ever, been immeasurably high… it is great to have this opportunity to recognise all these brilliant achievements in Scottish house building and place-making.”


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