Gilmour Road, Edinburgh

Typically, in this substantial Victorian semi-detached villa all the major public rooms had been placed at the front. Our instructions were simple - to make the rear of the house as enjoyable as the front and to provide one extra room.

The former kitchen at the rear was compromised by a utility "build out" sitting on a plinth which accommodated the fall on the site from front to back. We concluded that this build out should be 'semi-demolished', the plinth excavated to form a study with a new kitchen built above it. An expressed external flying steel structure allows a lead roof to float free of the walls which in turn consist of western red cedar panels 'offered up' to the exterior stone work and two 'disappearing corners' of glazed doors and windows respectively. From the latter is revealed a view of Edinburgh's mountain 'Arthur's Seat' while the former gives access to a balcony and seat hanging from the new structure and a staircase connecting to the garden below. Contrary to popular belief the Edinburgh climate allows for alfresco breakfasting for a significant number of days in the year!

To compensate for light excluded by the overhanging roof a new roof light joins the extension to the existing building and the former kitchen was converted into a dining room. A garden formed around the idea of a dry pebble river was also part of the same commission.

The house was completed in 1994.

Other Details

Architects  Richard Murphy
Engineers  David Narro
Contractor  Inscape Joinery
Construction Cost £45,000
Client Mr & Mrs Francis

Awards

1994 EAA Award Commendation
1995 RIBA Award

Press

19 October 2001 Special Steel Le Moniteur
August 2001 25 Beautiful Homes Design For Life
February / March 1997 A Matter Of Trust Perspectives
February 1995 Gilmour Road - Details Le Moniteur
February 1995 Northern Light Architectural Review
1995 Prize Day RIBA Regional Awards
1995 49 Gilmour Road - The Spice Of Life EAA
1995 Taking On The Rear The Scotsman
December 1994 Murphy's Law - The Invisible Viewer Architecture Of Israel
4 May 1994 Working In Scotland Architects' Journal
May 1994 Building Study - No Tears Shed RIBA Journal
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