Brief and Response
The client came to us with the ambitious dream of converting a recently purchased rundown Care Home back to its original domestic use and former magnificence. His intention was to create one of the finest houses in Edinburgh. Led by Architect David Johnson, the brief was to create some highly contemporary interior spaces whilst complementing and preserving the principal rooms and restoring the Victorian exterior. To achieve this we demolished a relatively recent staircase extension, making way for a spacious garage. We also demolished an unattractive extension on the rear of the building and replaced it with a south and west facing two storey extension. This extension provides a stunning open plan family living room, dining room and kitchen in one generous space looking out through 13m of horizontally sliding glazing onto the garden.
At the upper level the extension incorporates a magnificent Bathroom suited with the Master Bedroom. Not surprisingly, given its Category B Listed status in a cherished Conservation Area this all took a fair amount of negotiation with the Planners. We decided to join forces with Interior Designer Malcom Duffin who is well able to straddle the worlds of contemporary and traditional design, both of which had their place in this project. The design team had regular design meetings with the client and even went on a trip together to London's 100% Design Exhibition for further inspiration. As the client was determined to move in within a year of purchasing, works on site commenced well before the design was complete. A Cost Plan was created to benchmark each element as it was tendered. In this way the project delivery and budget were subject to very tight control.
Building Standards determined that, although originally built as a house, it now required a “change of use from hostel to dwelling”. This meant that some of the alterations we proposed were a challenge. The big open plan spaces, for instance, could have been ruled out by fire regulations. We overcame these constraints by the installation of a very discrete residential sprinkler system throughout the building. One year after being given the brief, GLM’s design and project management team delivered this large revitalised Victorian villa with its dramatic contemporary and carefully restored interiors to a very happy client. Can it be called one of the finest houses in Edinburgh? We think it can and that it can also be said to be a considerable asset to the Morningside Conservation Area.
"It didn't take David long to come up with a design that was just what we wanted. The whole family is delighted with the finished project and we just can’t believe we have such an amazing house!"
Nile Grove Homeowners, 2010