Balivanich, St Andrews

RKA Architectural Design Studio, St Andrews, 2020



All photographs Liam Cox     Download Original

  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_27L_curves    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_27L_curves2    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_27L_dormer    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_27L_double_height    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_27L_external    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_27L_Kitchen3    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_27L_rooflight    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_27L_rooflight2    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_27L_stair_detail    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_27L_stair    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_Existing_photos    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_DAS1    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_Existing_elevations    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_Existing_plan    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_Proposed_elevations    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_Proposed_section    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_Propsoed_first_floor_plan    
  • 14OL3J6U0K790GC_Propsoed_plan    

RKA founder Richard Keating transformed his grandmother’s dated semi-detached Scottish bungalow by extending upwards and sideways to create a colourful two-storey family home.

Richard’s mum’s family comes from Scotland, and his gran had lived in the same detached two-bedroom bungalow in St Andrews for 35 years. It hadn’t really changed very much during that time, and the layout was pretty traditional, with multiple doors leading off from a central hallway into separate rooms.

Small windows to the rear, coupled with large chestnut trees in the north-facing garden, made the interior rather dark, but what the single-storey bungalow did possess was a spacious loft, offering potential to extend upwards.

After Richard’s gran died, he decided to buy the bungalow and relocate his family from London to Scotland.

RKA sketched a scheme to ensure the family would be able to achieve bright, open-plan living within its confines. Setting up a new architectural practice in an area with no contacts was challenging. As well as designing a fun and practical family home, RKA wanted to use it to showcase ideas to future clients.

The narrow, detached garage was not large enough for a modern car, and could be used instead for valuable storage, freeing up the driveway to take a new side addition housing the boot room and extending the new Plykea kitchen. This enabled RKA to move the entrance from the side to the front, where the design was for a bespoke door with a glazed side panel beneath an angled rendered canopy.

The living room used to have a flat ceiling, with a loft above, but removing this would create a pitched space 5.5m to its apex, really the key to unlocking the building’s potential lay in using space beneath the large roof and bringing in natural light.


  • Begun: Oct 2019
  • Completed: Dec 2020
  • Floor area: 110m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £25,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Mar 2019
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • CO2 Emissions: 27kg/m2/year
  • Address: 27 Learmonth Place, St Andrews, KY16 8XF, United Kingdom

Professional Team