Edinburgh Architect With a Capital A

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.

 

Edinburgh Architects Blend The Old With The New

 

Edinburgh Architects Blend The Old With The New

Edinburgh has a unique landscape. For centuries planners and architects have used the natural topography of the city to their advantage. The post-volcanic ridge running from the castle to the Canongate provides the spine for the herringbone array of closes and wynds, while the contrasting flatness of the land to the north gave us the perfect foundation for Craig’s grand plan for the New Town. The result is that we now have two UNESCO World Heritage Sites side by side. It may be a historic wonder, but it’s not a museum; Edinburgh is a living, breathing city – home to almost 500,000 people. It’s important therefore, when considering architecture and design, that we continue to adapt to modern living while being sympathetic to the past – a balancing act that’s not for the faint-hearted. But, fortune favours the brave as they say and in our next few blogs Mackenzie Hughes would like to recognise the outstanding work from Edinburgh architects who successfully blend the old with the new and achieve stunning results.

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Creating the Perfect Edinburgh Garden

Creating the Perfect Edinburgh Garden

Edinburgh’s New Town, when seen on a satellite image, can appear quite grey. This is no surprise; the city is renowned for its Georgian architecture and the ashlar stone used in its construction adds further uniformity to James Craig’s award-winning street design. However, zoom in closer and the image opens to reveal row upon row of lush and vibrant green spaces. Edinburgh residents, like most people living in Scotland, love their gardens and spending time in a well-designed outdoor space is the ideal antidote for the high-octane pressures of modern life. Here, property restoration specialist, Mackenzie Hughes outlines what it takes to design the perfect Edinburgh garden with help from garden and landscape design studio, silver flowe design.

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Lighting the Art Collection in your Edinburgh Home

Lighting the Art Collection in your Edinburgh Home

When we admire our favourite work of art in a museum we are seldom aware of the intricate work that goes on behind the scenes to show it to its best advantage. Take lighting for example. If exposed to the wrong kind of lighting – both natural and artificial – harmful UV rays will fade a painting and it will deteriorate over time. It therefore takes a close collaboration of experts to ensure it not only looks its best but can be enjoyed by art lovers for years to come. Edinburgh period home restoration specialist Mackenzie Hughes explains how you can apply the same lighting principles used in art galleries and museums around the world to your own personal art collection.

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Tiles For Your Edinburgh Home

Bathroom renovation by Mackenzie Hughes. Image courtesy of Savills estate agents. Photography by Floorplanz.

Tiles For Your Edinburgh Home

Tiles have been an integral component of interior and exterior design for thousands of years, adorning the floors and walls of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Rome. Richly patterned tiles were a sign of wealth and their designs give us an insight into craftsmanship and culture throughout the ages. Beautiful, well-made tiles deliver a wow factor in any home and their practicality, combined with longevity, makes them a wise investment when renovating your property. Builder and property restoration company, Mackenzie Hughes brings you the lowdown on tiles suitable for a range of Edinburgh properties from period townhouses to contemporary new-builds with some added tips for extra pizzazz.

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The Edinburgh Georgian Period Smart Home

The Edinburgh Georgian Period Smart Home

Housemaids in Regency Edinburgh led a hard life – imagine washing dozens of plates by hand after a dinner party with no more than lye or sand to use as an abrasive. By comparison, our modern-day servants live a life of luxury. They simply lie around in wait for our next instruction – “Alexa…dim the lights by 20%.” Edinburgh builder and period home restoration company, Mackenzie Hughes looks at the appeal of the smart home.

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Life as an Apprentice with Edinburgh Builder Mackenzie Hughes

Life as an Apprentice with Edinburgh Builder Mackenzie Hughes

Mackenzie Hughes apprentice joiner, Jack Beecroft

Life as an apprentice with Edinburgh Builder Mackenzie Hughes means every day is a learning day, according to nineteen-year old Jack Beecroft. Following in the footsteps of his father Billy, an experienced, time-served joiner with the same firm, Jack joined Mackenzie Hughes over two years ago. “I attended Bo’ness Academy, but quickly realised that the academic path wasn’t for me,” said Jack. In a time when record numbers of young people attend university, it’s refreshing to meet a young man driven to follow a trade instead. After all, someone needs to build our universities in the first place, or have the necessary skills to ensure that existing ones are continually upgraded to meet the demands of the modern academic world.

 

Edinburgh builder, Mackenzie Hughes is just one of many Scottish businesses to appreciate the value of investing in apprenticeships which contribute to the lifeblood of the Scottish economy. According to the Scottish Government website, as of March 2017, there were 363,235 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating in Scotland, providing an estimated 1.2 million jobs. SMEs accounted for 99.4% of all private sector enterprises, 55.0% of private sector employment and 40.1% of private sector turnover. With so much at stake, Rory Forteath, Mackenzie Hughes Managing Director appreciates how important it is to provide a viable alternative for young people who don’t see themselves applying for university. “There’s just so much emphasis on school leavers going to university, but it’s clearly not for everyone,” said Rory.  “Our education system needs to place as much value on those who aren’t academically inclined and help them explore their potential in other fields including the building and construction industry. Scotland has a rich heritage in building and construction; taking Edinburgh’s 300-year old ‘New Town’ as a prime example, we need to ensure that we pass on our traditional skills, so we can preserve these fine buildings, while at the same time enhancing them through modern technology.”

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The Perfect Bathroom or Wet Room for Your Edinburgh Home

Creating the perfect bathroom or wet room for your Edinburgh home comes down to various factors including lifestyle, space and personal taste. Edinburgh builder Mackenzie Hughes takes you on a tour of some luxurious bathrooms, wet rooms and en-suites to give you the inspiration to transform the smallest – and sometimes not so smallest- room in your home.

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Add Value to Your Edinburgh Property With a Home Extension

Adding a high-quality home extension is more than a lifestyle enhancing decision – it’s an investment. The extra square footage alone is enough to add around an extra 11% to the value of a property. But, what factors do you need to consider when planning your new extension and how can you make the most of the extra space? Here are some ideas from Edinburgh builder, Mackenzie Hughes for a home extension to work around your needs while also adding value to your property.

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Edinburgh Property Refurbishment – the Fine Detail

Edinburgh Property Refurbishment – the Fine Detail

Refurbishing an Edinburgh period property to create a luxurious modern home requires the highest level of craftsmanship and passion. It also takes an expert eye and an uncompromising attention to detail to go far beyond a client’s expectations. Here is a current project from Edinburgh building and restoration company, Mackenzie Hughes, which demonstrates how attention to detail makes the difference between simply creating a beautiful home, and one which is truly spectacular.  We’re only part of the way through the restoration and will publish photos of the end result on the portfolio section of our website, but for now we would like to share some of the intricate work being carried out to demonstrate that the difference the fine detail really does make.

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