Private Homes \ 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.

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


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


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20 December 2017 Richard Murphy: così Scarpa mi ha ispirato la casa ideale / Richard Murphy: this is how Scarpa inspired me for the ideal home La Stampa
August 2017 Murphy House in Edinburgh Der Spiegel
August 2017 Seriality in Architecture Tripod Magazine
27 February 2017 Streamlining your home by getting built-in furniture Daily Telegraph
16 December 2016 House of the Year: a cave of wonders worthy of Wallace and Gromit The Guardian
1 July 2016 An Award Laden Approach Construction Industry News
23 June 2016 RIBA Awards 2016 Architects' Journal
23 June 2016 RIBA House of the Year 2016 Award Longlist - Best New Homes Britain
23 June 2016 Three Scottish Buildings listed among best in the UK BBC News
3 May 2016 Kenny Farquharson, Notebook: "House of Wonder" The Times
22 November 2015 Building Study: Hart Street House by Richard Murphy Architects Architects Journal
September/October 2015 Murphy's Law Homes & Interiors Scotland
13 May 2015 Murphy House in Hart Street e-architect
01 June 2015 Treasure Chest Architecture Today
07 May 2015 Saltire Society Housing Design Awards - 2015 Shortlist Saltire Society
01/05/2015 Homage Vs Heritage I-Build Magazine
April 2015 Tight Squeeze Urban Realm
September 2012 A New Heritage Premier Living - ESPC Magazine
November 2008 Wilson's Weekly Wrap: You Can't Keep A Good Man Down Prospect Issue 133
10 Oct 2008 Murphy's Law Prevails As Council Overturns Refusal Building Design
2 Oct 2008 Architect Amazed After "Bookend" Home Wins Go-ahead The Scotsman
October 2008 Hart And Minds Prospect Issue 132
4 August 2008 Plan Poised To Get Knocked Back Evening News
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