An award-winning dwelling that addresses natural topography through design.

Named as one of the top 100 houses in Scotland since 2000 by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), TrägerHAUS is a private dwelling that unifies the traditional aesthetic of its context with an ambition to create a dynamic and reactive architecture that exists synonymously with its site. Located on the periphery of the Upper Whitecraigs Conservation Area of Glasgow, it is bound by the northern rail link to Glasgow to the north and Cathcart Castle Golf Club to the east, with a 6m fall across the extents of the site. A unique opportunity existed to address these constraints with innovative architectural responses.

    The building must address two edges; the outward looking street edge and the inward looking garden edge. The existing site levels are such that we must infill at least a storey to have a street presence.

    A 'living' storey is introduced beneath street level, from where the principle living spaces of the dwelling are afforded expansive space and elevated south easterly views. A small 'street-facing' element serves as the dwelling entrance, continuing the domestic vernacular of its context.

    The 'street' element is rotated by 90 degrees to cantilever above its low-lying counterpart. This is to make space for a paved veranda that will serve as an arrival space for the inhabitants and their guests.

    The dramatic fall across the topography has been exploited to burrow a third 'garden' storey beneath the 'living' elements of the dwelling. This is where the sleeping accommodation is housed, deep within the site at lawn level where the bedrooms are afforded total privacy.

    The street level element adopts a pitched roof to continue the traditional vernacular of its context, concealing the architecture below. This element houses the main dwelling entrance, garage and master suite, which benefits from elevated south easterly views across the links.

    A three storey circulation element is inserted as the unifying piece between the three stacked storeys. This bottom-lit void draws the inhabitants away from the street into the quiet respite of the dwelling spaces below.

The natural topography of the site was exploited to express a hierarchy of programme.

A conventional, pitched volume continues the domestic street edge of its context, concealing behind it a cascading form that exploits the dramatically sloping topography of its site to express a hierarchy of programme. The footprint of the house is polite at ground level, enveloped by an expansive paved veranda that translates into a large capacity driveway when the inhabitants wish to entertain.

Upon approach to the front door, the ground falls away to reveal the form of the architecture laying below. Visitors are received into a bottom-lit circulation element that serves as the primary way-finding element, drawing them down into the main living space where a free plan walled with glass interconnects the vast kitchen, dining and living spaces with the terrace and gardens below. An over-sailing cantilever holds the master bedroom in suspension above, affording it with elevated south-easterly views across the links and seclusion from the rest of the house.

The ancillary sleeping accommodation lies at the lowest level of the house, where it sits burrowed and protected within the gardens. Each bedroom has a presence of its own, opened to the ground beyond through a sliding wall of glazing that offers direct access in and out. A sauna adds an additional element of luxury and enjoyment for the inhabitants.





Completed 2018


3,750 sqft


Structural : Interspan Europe Ltd
M+E : Atelier Ten
Lighting : Foto-ma