Ministers Walk Borve Self-build House Design

Minister’s Walk

1.5 storey detached 'Borve' house clad in stone timber and render, with south-facing views. The client personalised the house, changing one of the bedrooms to an open plan studio with other doors removed to make it more open plan.

  • Size/Scale 170m² / £225k
  • Location Elsrickle, Scottish Borders
  • Client McCann
  • Completion 2012

Having this lovely light and these amazing views has really stimulated me. It’s a great place to work as well as to live and provides the right balance for the way we live.

Minister’s Walk

Design Concept

The house was designed to maximise the excellent views from the raised site, facing south over the local hills. Services such as utilities and bathrooms are tucked in at the north of the house to allow maximum glazing and views to the south.

Planning Application

Despite being situated between a former church and manse, hence the house name, the design with minimal massing and local materials went through the planning process with a hitch.

Building Standards

A reasonably straight-forward application process, dealing with structure, insulation and drainage, resulted in an approval in a short period of time.

Obstacles Overcome

Once planning approval was achieved, the process was mainly without obstacle.


A steel and timber construction clad in cedar boarding, render and local sandstone. Traditional timber frame on concrete foundations with a concrete slab floor with underfloor heating. The house is heated from a ground source heat pump incorporated into the garden ground.

Structural Engineer

Andrew Black Design in-house design

Main Contractor

Stanley Brash Limited

Key Features

  • Open plan living
  • Maximised views
  • Fround source heat pump
  • Solar panels
  • Low-energy
  • Local materials