Benside House Project, Stornoway (Colin D A Porteous)

Scope and Content

Job files, photographs, and architectural drawings and plans related to Benside House project, Stornoway.

Administrative / Biographical History

Benside House, Stornoway, was designed and built by C. D. A. Porteous, M. Leybourne, and I. Sorenson. Leybourne and Sorenson initially desired to undertake the project as a means to finance their purchase of a fishing boat, and to equip them with the skills to maintain the boat as a future dwelling. Porteous agreed to join the scheme in order to move from a caravan to a low-budget, unmortgaged permanent home.

The house, designed and built 1977-1978 and sold by the 'owner-designer-builders' in 1985, was erected on a feu (plot) around a derelict croft house, and was intended as a dwelling which:

(a) could be built by amateurs in the relatively hostile Hebridean climate;

(b) would accommodate two 'family' units, meeting their requirements in terms of shared and private space;

(c) was economically feasible in terms of grants and short-term loans;

(d) could be occupied within a year from the start of building, while maintaining an income;

(e) would be environmentally 'conscious', energy efficient, and appropriate to its climate;

(f) would generate its own electricity through wind power (while using mains water and drainage).


The material has been arranged into three series - Job Files; Images; and Architectural Drawings and Plans. Material within each of these has been catalogued according to original arrangements and divisions.*

Access Information

Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections are open for research by appointment.

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Mark Tripney, Archives Assistant, c.2009-2010 Archives Hub description updated by Carrie Skinner, Logjam Project Officer, September 2011

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures.