Gearrannan Blackhouse Village Restoration
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village is a cultural gem on the west coast of Lewis. Blackhouses are an ancient type of house unique to the Outer Hebrides. Functioning as a working village until the early 1970's, Gearrannan was the last group of blackhouses to be occupied in the Hebrides. Realising that this valuable part of the islands history was fast disappearing, a community trust was formed to restore Gearrannan Blackhouse Village. Partner, Duncan Porteous, was responsible for this major restoration project which includes all but one of the buildings in this rare historic village. Working with the community trust, Duncan's restoration of the village included a museum, an interpretation centre, shop and café, self catering blackhouses and a newly renovated blackhouse hostel. Working on the architecture of this project gave the practice a unique insight into the traditional construction and handmade organic nature of these beautiful buildings and their community focussed way of life. The blackhouse village restoration fuses the islands cultural inheritance with twenty first century cultural tourism in order to keep the tradition of the Hebridean blackhouse village alive.
The Blackhouse Hostel was winner of the Outer Hebrides Design Awards for this project in 2014 in the business category.