As the crow flies, Rink Hill, situated impressively on the 500-acre Rink Farm just outside Galashiels, is just over the River Tweed from High Sunderland, Bernat Klein’s former home.
Both properties showed incredible vision in their respective builds; both distinctive in their own way, yet both maximising spectacular views on either side of the River Tweed, surrounded by forest, rivers, hills and sky creating a rich tapestry of colour.
Rink Hill is a contemporary holiday home which is the result of a long harboured desire from its owners to create a unique space from which to appreciate the beauty and diversity of the area.
Its creation – and its success – is also testament to its location just outside Galashiels.
Situated at the heart of the Scottish Borders, Galashiels is well connected to the national road network and in close proximity to major cities and airports including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle and Carlisle.
The Borders railway has offered Galashiels an unprecedented opportunity to establish itself as a leading business destination, transforming local connectivity and enhancing the potential of the town and its surrounding area.
Times, too, are changing.
Historically trail blazers in the electronics industry, Galashiels’ pioneers led the way in an expanding global market; today, such pioneers exist in new industries with artisan and innovative businesses launching and operating across a range of sectors.
Rink Hill is a perfect example.
The site is located in open farmland on the outer curve of a hillside and a main focus of the build was to utilise natural products in the finishing material pallet.
The building’s main frontages were formed with natural whinstone, recycled from field stone gathered over the years and former dry stone walling nearby. The external timber cladding and some of the internal detail was sourced from woodland on the farm less than 400m from the property. Six mature Douglas fir trees were carefully selected and milled by a mobile sawmill. The boards were then stacked and seasoned for two years prior to the build.
To declare its local provenance is to create a simple, yet endearing narrative.
Rink Hill has uninterrupted panoramic views overlooking Yair and the Tweed Valley and a stunning interior that brings the outside in through its impressive floor to ceiling windows.
A review by Scotland Traveller described it as “…like staring at a magnificent painting by a talented landscape artist whose canvas is ever-changing to reflect the weather and the shifting seasons.”
It’s no coincidence that across the river, Bernat Klein was said to have been inspired by the Scottish Borders and in particular, the views around his home and the seasonal colours which were the subject of many of his paintings and textile designs, created at his nearby studio and at his mill in Galashiels.
“Our decision to create Rink Hill was driven in part by a desire to showcase the great beauty of our local area and all it has to offer,” say owners Michael and Fiona Bayne.
“In bringing our project to fruition we received invaluable support from our community, and utilised the skills, expertise and products of local businesses wherever possible.
“From the start we were keen to profile the local talents and services which would enhance our guests’ experience, for example bespoke gift shops, artisan bakeries, excellent dining venues and a range of cultural offerings, rich assets right on our doorstep.
“Rink Hill may be rooted in its immediate location, but it is essentially part of a wider picture, introducing guests to an area they will hopefully never forget, and to which they will want to return.”
The countryside around Galashiels offers an incredible landscape; wonderfully rural, but with the connectivity required to provide exciting opportunities for innovation and investment.
Rink Hill has maximised all that surrounds it and all that it is.
“Discovering this place is breath-taking,” writes Catriona Thomson in a travel review for the Scotsman; “all around there are stunning vistas of a landscape which has been etched by the passage of time.”
“So when the sunlight breaks through the clouds and illuminates the emerald hillside opposite, it is as if time itself is scudding across the hills, shapeshifting along the valley below. The beautiful Scottish Borders have beckoned us, close enough to be convenient for a short break, yet far enough away to feel like you are entering a different world.”