Imagining Whitmuir Tomorrow – community gathering


Another day, another amazing community project…this time Whitmuir Community Farm, near Lamancha in the Scottish Borders.

Currently in the process of being transferred from private ownership to become Scotland’s first community owned farm, Whitmuir plans to create a Living Learning Space – a national resource on sustainable food and farming, with discovery trails, exhibits, educational opportunities and citizen science projects. 

They already have an amazing network of trails, an organic farm shop and restaurant, host the Breadshare Bakery and Dancing Light Gallery and are home to the Black and Green Biochar Project.

Sam Foster Architects are lucky enough to be working with Whitmuir to help them develop a masterplan for their 130-acre farm -which is twice the size of Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens. This was kicked off with a gathering at Whitmuir on 27th August, with an audience ranging in age from 3 to 86 and made up of community shareholders and folk with a deep-rooted interest in sustainable food, farming and land-use issues. 

A massive range of ideas were generated and then recorded by the wonderful Albi Taylor – a graphic facilitator who literally drew the ideas coming out of people’s mouths!

We’ll be posting many more progress updates on this groundbreaking project over the forthcoming months so watch this space…

Aberdeenshire Passivhaus site visit


Had a brilliant visit on Friday last week with Locate Architects to meet the client and check a few things at the site for our joint Passivhaus project. Clients really happy with (most of) our initial ideas – time to develop those sketches a bit more and…who knows…make a model?!

Brettstapel extension at Coed y Brenin, Wales

Image  Image

Wifey and I were recently down in north Wales (handing in wifey’s MSc Thesis at the Centre for Alternative Technology) and took the opportunity to drop in to see Architype‘s extension to the Coed y Brenin visitor centre – the first building in the UK to use homegrown timber for its Brettstapel walls, floor and roof. 

Architype invited Sam Foster down to offer a bit of guidance on detailing and building with Brettstapel following Sam’s experience at Gaia Architects with Brettstapel on Acharacle Primary School and Plummerswood – a private house in the Scottish Borders.

Wanna know more? Go to or google ‘uk brettstapel construction

(Oh, and CAT’s ‘WISE’ building, with its rammed earth walls and lovely spaces is well worth a visit!)