Collection DC 043 - Colin D A Porteous Collection - Benside House Project, Stornoway

Key Information

Reference code

DC 043


Colin D A Porteous Collection - Benside House Project, Stornoway


  • 1977-1997 (Creation)

Level of description



814 job file items; 189 images; 27 drawings/plans

Content and Structure

Scope and content

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

This material may contain sensitive information about individuals that is protected by the Data Protection Act. Until this material has been checked for sensitive information, it will not be available for researchers. Once this Data Protection work is complete the collection will be open for access, however any sensitive information will be closed and inaccessible for 75 years from the date of creation.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

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


System of arrangement

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.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Prof Colin Porteous is an architect and researcher whose interest extends to energy-efficient design moved from practice to in-depth research. In 1981, he became active in the international solar community and then a full-time academic in 1986 after leading a community technical aid centre. He linked problems of fuel poverty to passive solar solutions via EU-funded Easthall Demonstration Project in early 1990s. Prof Porteous initiated the Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU) in 1993. He is the author of THE NEW eco-ARCHITECTURE (2002) and Solar Architecture in Cool Climates (2005), and has contributed a chapter to Sensing a Historic Low-CO2 Future (2011).

Name of creator

(fl c1960s-)

Biographical history

Name of creator

(fl c1960s-)

Biographical history

Archival history

Custodial history

Physical Description and Conditions of Use

Conditions governing access

Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections are open for research by appointment. For further details, please refer to our Access Policy @

Conditions governing reproduction

Application for permission to reproduce should be submitted to The Archives and Collections at The Glasgow School of Art.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of material.

For further details, please refer to our Reprographic Service Guide @

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical Description

Finding aids

Related Material

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related materials

Related descriptions

Notes area


Collection Historical Note

Benside House, Stornoway, was designed and built by Colin 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).

Alternative identifier(s)


Place access points

People and Organisations

Genre access points


Level of detail

Processing information

  • Catalogued by Mark Tripney, Archives Assistant, c2009-2010.
  • Archives Hub description updated by Carrie Skinner, Logjam Project Officer, September 2011.
  • Catalogue imported into Archon software and edited by Michelle Kaye, Archon Project Officer, June 2014.
  • Catalogue exported from Archon and imported into AtoM during system migration, 2018-2019.


  • English



Archivist's note

Finding Aid Authors: The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections.

Archivist's note

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Accession area