Blacket Place

Somner Macdonald Architects, Edinburgh, 2018


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in


Seán Gaule     Download Original

  • dscf2371-hdr    
  • dscf2374-hdr    
  • dscf2383-hdr    
  • dscf2389-hdr    
  • dscf2341-hdr    
  • dscf2452-hdr    
  • dscf2344-hdr    
  • dscf2395-hdr    
  • dscf2368-hdr    
  • dscf2356-hdr    
  • dscf2455-hdr    

The principal proposition at Blacket Place was to reverse an historic sub-division of the semi-detached villa, located on the south side of Edinburgh.

Along with the reinstatement of the original pencheck stair, the most significant amendment to the property was the single-storey extension to the rear. Its proportions, materials and detailing have been developed to form a complementary but contrasting relationship to the adjacent B-Listed villa (est. 1850).

The extension provides a large family room, with a volume derived from the stepping nature from villa and off-shoot, aiming to create a subservient relationship with the original house, while also establishing an independent identity. A black zinc facade is orientated towards the north, with minimally framed glazing orientated towards the south and east to maximise direct sunlight, while maximising views of the mature gardens.

Internally a Douglas fir structure is exposed and the separation expressed to glazed outer skin. The project adopts a rhetoric of legible difference between the monolithic and solidity of the existing listed property and light touch of the extension; emphasised by the lightness of construction and a blurring of boundaries between inside and outside.


  • Begun: Apr 2018
  • Completed: Dec 2018
  • Floor area: 360m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £220,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Feb 2018
  • Procurement: MWD/Scot (2013 Edition)
  • Address: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Professional Team