Greenhouse/ Blackhouse is an exhibition that looks at sustainable development in relation to architecture and sense of place.
In many ways vernacular responses to the design of dwellings such as the Highland Black House were the ultimate in sustainable living, as of necessity they were built of local materials and used renewable energy sources for heat and light. However, despite being ‘at one with nature’, lack of choice also meant that they did not create an ideal internal environment. Until the recent acceptance of the negative impact that profligate use of the planet’s natural resources is having on the Earth, access to choice in the 20th Century resulted in an ‘international style’ that crossed many boundaries and arguably divorced people from the important role that local climatic and ecological issues played in shaping the built environment of the past. Greenhouse/ Blackhouse explores how a 21st century reappraisal of our connection with the planet could give us the best of both worlds: a new, sustainable vernacular, using resources sensibly that is a pleasure to live in? Greenhouse/ Blackhouse introduces the current state-of the-art in sustainable housing design in Scotland and Europe. The aim is to provide inspiration by exploring new and innovative solutions alongside traditional methods – from selecting appropriate locations to build, through harnessing the climate and responsible resource use to issues of lifestyle and health. The exhibition’s centrepiece is a presentation of the entries to the Highland Housing Fair competition, which aims to create a new eco-community in the Highlands.