Private Homes \ 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'

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 2007 Leadinglight Selfbuild And Design
18 May 2007 House That Council Rejected Twice Wins Architecture Prize Evening News
July 2006 Mews Modernity Homebuilding & Renovating
22 January 2006 The Edinburgh Mews House Inspired By Japanese Architecture The Sunday Times Home Magazine
10 January 2002 Controversial Murphy Architects' Journal
11 April 2001 Mews Plan For New Town Under Attack The Scotsman
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