Richard Murphy Architects
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Inverleith Gardens, Edinburgh

Inverleith Gardens, Edinburgh

The most common small project an architect can be asked to design is a garden room. In this instance the site is the rear of an Edwardian terraced house and we were able to persuade our client not to place it in the garden at all - but rather where a bathroom had been above the kitchen in order to see an extraordinary panorama of Edinburgh available only from this height.

The extremely limited space was amplified by incorporating into it the thickness of the stone walls. A window seat occupies the plan of one wall and is constructed out of 'stick on stick' timber construction cantilevered and expressed out from its base. A steel structure was attached to the exterior and this supports an overhanging lead roof leaving the south and west walls free to accommodate a system of sliding windows. The windows can be slid back on the exterior so that from inside they appear to disappear - and the room can consequently be transformed into a deep veranda.

Light is brought deep into the plan by a generous roof light running along the party wall and underneath is placed a 'secret staircase' for quick access to the kitchen below. This together with voids between the two spaces allows a conversation to be continued between the upstairs and downstairs. The wall to the existing staircase is cut to allow constant contact between this space and the new room and above a much larger staircase window was constructed to throw light deep into the plan of the existing house and through which it is now possible to see distant Edinburgh Castle.

The building was completed in 1991.

Other Details
Architects  Richard Murphy
Engineers  Ted Ruddock
Contractor  Inscape Joinery
Construction Cost £29,000
Client  Marion Blythman

1992 EAA Silver Medal Award
1992 RIBA Award

  • February 2011Designs On WinningEvening News
  • March 1998Rear Of The YearHome Show Magazine
  • Autumn 1997Room At The BankSignet Magazine
  • June 1994A Tale Of Three CitiesPerspectives
  • 13 March 1994Economics Of ScaleSunday Times
  • 29 March 1993When An Extension Lends Enchantment To The ViewThe Scotsman
  • 8 January 1993Extending A Town House In EdinburghBauwelt
  • 18 November 1992RIAS Obsessions At ScotbuildAJ Update
  • 15 October 1992Top Trio Bid For National AwardProject Scotland
  • 11 October 1992Backroom Boys Winning WaysScotland On Sunday
  • 7 October 1992RIBA Regional AwardsAJ Digest
  • 2 October 1992Riba Names Regional WinnersBuilding Design
  • 20 May 1992Rsa Summer ShowAJ Review
  • 1992RIBA AwardsRIBA Journal
15 Old Fishmarket Close, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 1RW | Tel 0131 220 6125 |