Pig Rock Bothy was designed by architect Iain MacLeod and artist Bobby Niven in collaboration with Douglas Flett Architects. The building was originally planned to reside on the grounds of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art for three months before being relocated to the Highland community of Assynt. Its continued popularity with artists, curators and visitors has seen Pig Rock Bothy remain in Edinburgh, where it provides a flexible venue for events including workshops, exhibitions and short residencies.
The bothy’s design is based on the idea of taking a bold and simple vernacular form and applying a playful twist in reference to the characteristics of Assynt’s windswept landscape. The polycarbonate skin allows light to penetrate, creating a bright interior space that glows like a beacon at night. The building contains a wood-burning stove and display shelving slotted into the wooden frame.
A research trip to Assynt helped inform the building’s design, as well as providing inspiration for a collection of ceramics and textiles created by Glasgow-based artist Laura Aldridge to furnish the space. Aldridge was inspired by patterns and colours she identified in the landscape, which were translated onto the surfaces of the ceramic vessels and fabrics. One particular rock with a pink and grey lichen-spotted surface resembled the skin of a pig, and when Laura was asked to title the bothy, the name Pig Rock Bothy was born.