East Claremont Street

David Blaikie Architects, Edinburgh, 2015

 

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The refurbishment and extension of a B-listed early Victorian terraced townhouse in Edinburgh

This 6.8m2 glass extension and remodelling of the ground floor rear rooms allows the new kitchen and dining spaces of this Category B-listed early Victorian townhouse to spill out into its small, enclosed, south facing garden.

The modest extension is part of an overall refurbishment of the whole house: updating the fabric to reflect modern energy conservation standards and servicing, repairing and renewing the external fabric and restoring historic plasterwork and joinery.

The aim was to develop a minimal, highly glazed and scrupulously detailed addition that very lightly brushes against the historic fabric of the house. Despite being small, the effect that the extension has on forming the living spaces, both internal and external, is large.

In developing the original two-storey service outshot, the architect re-introduced, in contemporary form, the ‘back’ stairs that would have linked the staff areas with the upper floors of the house. The new cantilevered stair, below a frameless 2.7 x 1.5m triple glazed rooflight, links the kitchen to the master bedroom via a glass bridge which also gives access to a small terrace where the final rays of evening sunshine can be enjoyed when the garden falls into shadow. The glass bridge maximises light reaching the dining space below.

The entirely frameless glazing is only interrupted by a near coplanar band of stainless steel at the ceiling zone and a sophisticated, Swiss-made, sliding leaf weighing a third of a tonne, to give access to the garden. The whole structure is supported on a single, slender, stainless steel circular column in-bound of the glass.

Every junction between new and old is considered in careful detail to reduce it to its absolute minimum allowing the original fabric to sustain its historical continuum yet evoke the tension between 19th century craftsmanship and 21st century technology.

Data

  • Begun: Mar 2014
  • Completed: Jun 2015
  • Floor area: 58m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £240,909
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Dec 2013
  • Procurement: SBCC Scottish Minor Works Contract
  • Address: 16 East Claremont Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4JP, United Kingdom

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