The Hide, Edinburgh

Aaltspace, Edinburgh, 2023



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From the first client meeting at this Victorian end of terrace house, aaltspace was captivated by its amazing location on the bank of the Union Canal.

This historic stretch of engineering celebrated its 200th anniversary last year. Listed as a Scheduled Monument, it is also an amazing wildlife corridor and green artery to the city, bustling with wildlife and public activity. The brief quickly evolved to focus on whether a simple extension could reconnect the client with their canal side context and the outdoors
he new garden room unlocks the potential of the house, linking ground floor living spaces and gardens together. Two new openings punch through into the front living room and rear kitchen/dining room. A new celebratory circulation route through the extension reconnects these once cut off rooms. For the client, the new canal room performs a function akin to a hide from which to quietly view nature, observe the changing seasons and watch the lazy pace of daily life along this beautiful stretch of water. The extension’s form was influenced by the wedge shape of the side passage and Historic Environment Scotland’s stipulation that any extension should minimise its massing. As the plan splays, a monoptich roof rises across its length, creating a simple but striking rhomboid plane. The extension hunkers behind the historic boundary wall, leaving it untouched and free of new loads. The change in scale internally is unexpected and playful. An impressive 8m long, column free panoramic window frames views over the canal bank. A reduced material palette based around natural materials and finishes is used throughout. The warm interior tones of oiled oak cabinetry and sandstone contrast with the dark anthracite uniformity of the exterior. Construction is highly insulated and airtight.


  • Begun: May 2021
  • Completed: Feb 2023
  • Floor area: 26m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £92,000
  • Funding: Client funded
  • Tender date: Jan 2021
  • Procurement: SBCC Homeowner Contract 2015
  • Address: Edinburgh, EH11, United Kingdom

Professional Team