Grange Garage Studio

Konishi Gaffney Architects, Edinburgh, 2021


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All photographs by ZAC and ZAC     Download Original

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The brief was to form a new studio for an artist to the side of their Georgian house, in what was a 1950s garage extension.

This was a simple brief with a tiny budget but the project was interesting because of the client’s design ambition.

We upgraded the envelope of the existing garage with a new insulated floor, infilling the old garage door and externally insulating the walls and roof.

The project then became about the front elevation. The elevation height was raised to match the floor-to-floor height of the existing house and the width extended to cover the whole side frontage to give appropriate grandeur to the front and balance the house. That decision led to the cladding becoming an abstract frontage, continuing beyond and separated from the house, like a stage-front.

Timber cladding is affordable, sustainable and weathers beautifully. We’ve been exploring ways of expressing the structure of cladding in projects like this and here we started by setting up the vertical timber battens and horizontal cladding in a rhythm of fins across the façade ‘composing the frontage’.

We arranged a new window and a secret gate within the constraints of the rhythm of fins. The resultant vertical timber fins with horizontal banding reads like a musical score.

The horizontal fins were set at 3 degrees to the flat with a drip to allow the cladding to drain. The west-facing front elevation, with its variable reveals and fin centres, catches the light and forms faceted shadows in surprising and interesting ways.


  • Begun: Apr 2021
  • Completed: Oct 2021
  • Floor area: 20m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £30,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Dec 2020
  • Procurement: Self-build
  • CO2 Emissions: 50kg/m2/year
  • Address: Marchmont, Edinburgh, EH9, United Kingdom

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