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Mews House, Circus Lane, Edinburgh

Mews House, Circus Lane, Edinburgh

Our second project on Circus Lane is a new-build house occupying a trapezoid-shaped site, being a former garden to one of the grand houses on Royal Circus. The adhoc development on this side of the lane is characterised by an original mews to the west and another garden to the east and a wider than usual frontage results directly from the angled boundary to the lane.

The design places the bedrooms with the garage on the lower floor and a single space for kitchen, living and dining on the upper floor. A slope on the site ensures that the garden is equidistant between the two. The kitchen is placed as a galley along the mews elevation looking down to the living area and is lit by a rooflight where the slated roof to the lane meets a flat lead roof to the rear.

The façade continues the 'back to front' tradition where mews elevations are informal compared to the formality of the garden façade as viewed from the big house. Both façades are of steel, glass and timber overlapping planes framed by rubble stone walls, the front being asymmetric and informal whilst the garden elevation has the formality of an expressed piano nobile.

Internally a spiral stair, placed under the light, visits all four levels, and articulates the transition between the front and back geometric of the plan.

Planning permission for this project was confirmed in late 2002, work started on site in February 2004 and was completed in April 2005.

This project has been awarded one of the three RIBA Awards in Scotland in 2007 - The Award's Committee citation included the following:

'this is clearly an original work that far exceeds the normal standard of new domestic architecture. Seeing the completed house, it is hard to imagine why so many obstructions were placed in the way of the planning applications. As a template for sensitive but uncompromisingly modern urban infill within an historic street, Edinburgh's City planners could do much worse than look to this small project for inspiration'

Other Details
Architects Richard Murphy, Peter Guthrie
Project Manager Thomas and Adamson
Engineers SKM Anthony Hunts
Quantity Surveyor Thomas and Adamson
Contractor Inscape Joinery
Construction Cost £400,000
Client Private clients

2006 Saltire Award Commendation
2007 RIBA Award

  • December 2007LeadinglightSelfbuild And Design
  • 18 May 2007House That Council Rejected Twice Wins Architecture PrizeEvening News
  • July 2006Mews ModernityHomebuilding & Renovating
  • 22 January 2006The Edinburgh Mews House Inspired By Japanese ArchitectureThe Sunday Times Home Magazine
  • 10 January 2002Controversial MurphyArchitects' Journal
  • 11 April 2001Mews Plan For New Town Under AttackThe Scotsman
15 Old Fishmarket Close, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 1RW | Tel 0131 220 6125 |