Scotland’s hidden wonders: House No 7, Isle of Tiree

There’s wanting to get away from it all, and then there’s House No 7. Sofiane Kennouche looks at a remote yet beautiful home on Tiree

The project's three main spaces are clearly visible. Photo: David Barbour


House No 7 features a living room, guest house and utility wing and takes its inspiration from the agricultural housing of the surrounding area. The master bedroom is level with the landscape, with the main “living space” raised slightly higher than the entrance. It was built on the behest of a retired couple, Liz and Dave Kerr; Liz holidayed on the Isle of Tiree extensively.

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The Isle of Tiree receives the most sunlight in the UK. Photo: David Barbour

Located on the southern coast of the Inner Hebrides, this location receives the most hours of sunlight anywhere in the United Kingdom. Accessed by a desolate grass track, House No 7 has views of the Duin bay and is surrounded by the machair which is typical of the fertile land in this area. Flights to the island, inhabited by approximately 750 people, can be made from Glasgow Airport, or ferries can be taken from Oban if you’d rather have a sea view accompanying your journey.


The neatly-grouped property was completed in the summer of 2013, but the plot it occupies was once the site of a ruined, B-listed blackhouse that was de-listed and demolished after it was deemed too far gone to repair.


House No 7's airy living quarters. Photo: David Barbour

Marrying modern and traditional design techniques, House No 7 was designed by Murray Kerr, the son of owners the owners. His London-based firm, Denizen Works, has gone onto many other commissions since starting with his family venture.

The exposed surroundings of the Isle of Tiree presented a problem for the project’s designer, as shelter had to be sought from the wind in all directions while still allowing natural breeze and sunlight to filter into the property. The house and supporting structures won the Stephen Lawrence Prize from The Royal Institute of British Architects as well as the Grand Designs Home of the Year title last year.


It’s very well-known both in the area and around the world, with high-profile features published by The New York Times and Elle Decor Italia respectively. Its remote location, however, does make it harder to visit than your average landmark.

The house is born of agricultural inspiration. Photo: David Barbour