Edinburgh Architect With a Capital A
Edinburgh’s New Town was built for wealthy merchants and other notable citizens with large families and an entourage of servants. There were no separate bathrooms and when night fell, the only light available came from candles or the glow of the fire. By contrast, the average modern family consists of 2.4 household members which means they don’t necessarily need all the floors in a Georgian property. The building can therefore be sub-divided into separate flats. Each new home also needs to be equipped for fast-paced 21st Century living. This puts us in a dilemma when looking to renovate or add an extension to a Georgian townhouse or tenement; should we keep it as close to the original as possible, or add a modern twist which better reflects the way we live our lives today? Edinburgh Builder Mackenzie Hughes is very much in the latter camp and in the second of our reports on blending the old with the new, we look at how Niall Hedderman from Capital A Architecture brought his design for an Edinburgh West End property to life – complete with a modern extension.
Re-designed basement with extension
The property in question, an Edinburgh West End tenement with six floors from sub-basement to attic, had been bought by a developer who turned the upper floors into luxury flats and sold off the two basement floors. The new owner knew of Niall’s work and engaged his services to re-design the basement layout and add a new extension. Here is the outstanding result.
The basement has been re-designed to make the most of the available space with four bedrooms, three of which are en-suite plus there is ample external storage.
The sub-basement, reached by a half-spiral staircase, houses the wine store, media room, library, one further bedroom (making five in total), and open plan dining-kitchen and living area with patio doors which open onto the stepped garden.
The property makes the most of the natural slope of the building from street level to the back garden while lowering the floor in the lounge delivers more head-height in the living area.
The grand tour
Here is the grand tour from the entrance to the back garden. You can read the full story on Niall’s blog by clicking here, but for now you can enjoy some of the main highlights. All photographs were kindly supplied by Capital A Architecture.
The bright basement entrance sits opposite three large storage areas which burrow under the street.
The third bedroom with dressing area and en-suite
The master bedroom with en-suite, shelved dressing room and seating area. The large screen TV and contemporary fire are housed in the original chimney breast.
A recessed handle adds the illusion of space to a compact half-spiral staircase leading to the sub-basement and living area.
The large open-plan dining kitchen with central island and overhead extractor…
…leads to the bright and airy extension housing the lounge and adjoining library. The sliding patio doors and zinc surround and roof supplied by Artisan Roofing make the most of the stepped garden.
As part of the Festival of Architecture 2017, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland chose Niall Hedderman’s project as one of the 100 best homes in Scotland since the year 2000. Mackenzie Hughes would like to congratulate him too on a design which is sympathetic to the Georgian fabric of the building but with contemporary additions which will stand the test of time.