A company of architects based in Achmore have won the recognition of their own profession with an award for their own home.

Duncan and Fiona Porteous were told at an awards ceremony in Inverness on Friday (November 2nd) that their converted mission house had been highly placed in three categories of the Awards for Architecture 2018, winning the top prize in one.

The award means even more because it comes from architects themselves, with all the expertise of the industry in the judging. Inverness Architectural Association (IAA) is the local branch of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), and it was from them that Duncan collected his award on Friday evening.

Porteous Architecture entered just one of their developments into the competition, which was open to all architects based in, or completing projects in, the Highlands and Islands. Their own home in Achmore has been remodelled from a former mission house and re-named 'The Handmade House', because Duncan carried out all the work on it himself.

In the 'small project' category it won the overall prize, but it was also highly commended in the category 'new life for old buildings' and commended for 'best use of timber'. Three awards for one property is highly satisfying for the couple, who were up against some very large and prestigious companies.

Fiona said " A lot of high-profile architects entered four or five different buildings. We were amazed that we did so well. It's quite a big thing for a small practice such as ours and we were the only winners from the Western Isles. Within the architectural community it's quite an achievement and to be recognised by our peer group is especially nice for us, getting the recognition of the profession."

Duncan and Fiona returned to the islands eight years ago and set up their own practice, after returning from a spell working in the US and in the Bahamas, where they worked on some very high-end properties.

They now specialise in new-build homes, including feasibility studies and design for affordable housing. Having a house designed and built by themselves and recognised by their profession now gives an added warmth to the feeling of coming home!


Pictures show the Handmade House and the old Mission House before restoration, and Duncan and Fiona Porteous at home.