The grand houses in this most prestigious of Edinburgh circuses have mostly been subdivided into apartments. Our clients bought part of an already subdivided basement with most of the flat in fact found as a single storey flat roofed extension at the rear of the tenement with the connection to the street being via a long corridor under the tenement itself. Indeed the bulk of the flat consisted of a billiard room, and a ramshackle of kitchen facilities. The kitchen rooms were very poorly lit and the roof leaked and so we persuaded our clients to completely rebuild this section of their flat, converting the former billiard room into a master bedroom.
The site is spectacular in the sense that it has both its own private garden and a stunning view to the west, across the Water of Leith and Lord Moray's pleasure gardens, a private garden for local residents.
Our proposal placed a barrel vaulted space focusing on this view, with light admitted on either side of the barrel vault via long roof lights which also define the circulation within the main space. The barrel vault consists of interconnecting spaces of living room and at a slightly higher level dining area and kitchen, with a study underneath the original tenement. All these spaces look out through a spectacular window to the garden and vista beyond. The window consists of sliding doors which disappear within the wall thickness, so that whole space can open out into the garden in the summer time. Both the doors and the roof lights have shutters which close the entire space off at night or in the winter. The effect of light is reminiscent of and inspired by the Sir John Soane Museum in London.
The project was completed in 2000.
|Architects||Richard Murphy, Joe Carnegie, Edward Hollis, Stewart Stevenson|
|Engineers||David Narro Associates|
|Quantity Surveyor||Morham & Brotchie Partnership|
2001 EAA Conservation Award
2002 RIBA Award