Balnain House, Inverness

Balnain House is an important building on the Inverness riverside. It is visible from most vantage points and is a key focal point as you corss the Greig Street footbridge. MAAC studio have been engaged by the National trust to prepare a condition report and advise the trust on maintenance and repair needs over the coming years.

The beautifully proportioned elevation of Balnain House facing the river,

The streetscape around Balnain House changes to a more refined, residential character, with wide paths and tall mature trees of creating a gentile amosphere that provides Balnain House added presence.

Originally built in the 1720’s it was remodelled externally in the 1760’s to give it its current appearance. The architecture is restrained Georgian with a composition of 3 storey’s and basement arranged symmetrically around two central chimney stacks. The design is an exquisite study in proportion.

The outer limits of the building defining a perfect square with the subdivision and distribution of elements laid out in halves, thirds, fourths and fifths. The plain harled walls and low hipped roof emphasise the geometric shape and volume of the building. Windows are picked out with simple stone dressed margins. The only decoration the chamfered quoins that delineate the edge of the façade.

Study illustrating the proportions of Balnain House
A study in the proportions, Balnain House front elevation.

The building was designed as a residence and this remained its function throughout its lifetime apart from a brief period after the battle of Culloden when it was used as a field hospital for government troops.

It was extensively restored in the 1980’s and is now an office of the National Trust for Scotland.