Skibo Castle Swimming Pool Pavilion

Project Description:

Skibo Castle, nestled in the stunning Highlands overlooking Dornoch Firth, boasts a rich history dating back to 1211, evolving from a stone tower house to a fortified palace in 1545. In 1898, Andrew Carnegie, renowned Scottish industrialist and the era’s wealthiest individual, acquired the 7,500-acre estate, transforming it into his private residence with 2 million sterling of enhancements. His additions included Loch Ospisdale, an indoor heated pool, and a 9-hole golf course. Today, as The Carnegie Club, it stands as a pinnacle of exclusive private clubs globally.

The highlight, a state-of-the-art swimming pavilion, constructed in 1902 by Mackenzie & Moncur, features a 25ft salt-water pool beneath a steel-framed glass roof that could retract. This Victorian spa housed a pool, steam room, and salt-water massage jets, doubling as a ballroom with a convertible floor for events. Recent restoration by Archial Architects revived its grandeur, meticulously conserving its Grade B Listed status. Notably, it was Florence’s final UK project and one she cherished deeply.


“Amidst decay, a Grade B Listed gem faced demolition. We resurrected it to its former glory. Stone by stone, mythical carvings, and rusted trusses meticulously restored. Crafting bespoke windows and an ozone-treated stainless steel pool, we merged history with modernity. Balancing early mornings and long drives was a privilege. Every moment of this restoration was a joy. A tribute to heritage and innovation, forging an enduring legacy.”

Florence Ma – Founder of Rebel Arkitekt

Timeline: 1890 > 2009