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Murphy House at Hart Street, Edinburgh

Murphy House at Hart Street, Edinburgh

This is a house designed for Richard Murphy himself. It occupies approximately half of an existing garden in the open space between the back of houses on Forth Street and the gable end of houses on Hart St in the New Town of Edinburgh. The junction between these two streets is clearly an unplanned part of the New Town sitting at the point of contact where two estates that developed simultaneously met. In addition, an extra floor added at some time in the twentieth century to the west side of Hart Street has resulted in an unsightly gable end.

The house sets out to achieve a number of architectural ambitions. Firstly it acts as a 'bookend' to the above mentioned gable, hiding as much of it as possible. The elevational treatment continues the pattern set up by the Hart Street houses of an indented ashlar base, string courses and a significant cornice which is now terminated by becoming the roof edge of a dramatic sloping roof. This roof made mostly of glass with inset photovoltaic cells is designed both to ensure daylight to the adjacent basement flat on Forth Street and also to act as a major collector of solar energy. Inside the roof are a number of insulated shutters which are capable of closing when the roof is in net heat loss mode and opening when there is a net heat gain. In addition the photovoltaic cells power an industrial fan which draws air from the very top of the house to the semi basement to both counter the stack effect but also to store heat in a rock store placed in the solum for night time heating. The external form of the house is completed by a garage with a small roof terrace above.

Internally an interlocking section places the living/dining and kitchen on the first floor with the master bedroom at the apex of the section capable of opening up and closing to the living space. A study sits between entrance hall and living room and a bedroom is placed on the ground floor and a further bedroom in a semi basement.

Work began on site in July 2012 with completion in December 2014.

In 2016 the house won an RIBA National Award.

Richard Murphy wrote this piece “The Road to Hart Street”  about the house for his exhibit in the Royal Scottish Academy exhibition “Home” in April 2016.

Other Details
Architects Richard Murphy, Gareth Jones, James Falconer, Tersius Maass
Engineers Create Engineering
Client Richard Murphy

2015 Saltire Society Housing Design Award
2016 RIBA Award
2016 Architects' Journal UK House of the Year
2016 RIBA / Channel 4 House of the Year
2016 Civic Trust National Award
2016 EAA Building of the Year

  • August 2017Murphy House in EdinburghDer Spiegel
  • August 2017Seriality in ArchitectureTripod Magazine
  • 27 February 2017Streamlining your home by getting built-in furnitureDaily Telegraph
  • 1 July 2016An Award Laden ApproachConstruction Industry News
  • 23 June 2016Three Scottish Buildings listed among best in the UKBBC News
  • 23 June 2016RIBA Awards 2016Architects' Journal
  • 23 June 2016RIBA House of the Year 2016 Award Longlist - Best New Homes
  • 3 May 2016Kenny Farquharson, Notebook: "House of Wonder"The Times
  • 22 November 2015Building Study: Hart Street House by Richard Murphy ArchitectsArchitects Journal
  • September/October 2015Murphy's LawHomes & Interiors Scotland
  • 01 June 2015Treasure ChestArchitecture Today
  • 13 May 2015Murphy House in Hart Streete-architect
  • 07 May 2015Saltire Society Housing Design Awards - 2015 ShortlistSaltire Society
  • 01/05/2015Homage Vs HeritageI-Build Magazine
  • April 2015Tight SqueezeUrban Realm
  • September 2012A New HeritagePremier Living - ESPC Magazine
  • November 2008Wilson's Weekly Wrap: You Can't Keep A Good Man DownProspect Issue 133
  • 10 Oct 2008Murphy's Law Prevails As Council Overturns RefusalBuilding Design
  • 2 Oct 2008Architect Amazed After "Bookend" Home Wins Go-aheadThe Scotsman
  • October 2008Hart And MindsProspect Issue 132
  • 4 August 2008Plan Poised To Get Knocked BackEvening News
15 Old Fishmarket Close, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 1RW | Tel 0131 220 6125 |