Happiness, for the owners of this house, came from the simple creation of a better connection to their garden
If you’re going to do something, do it right. How many times must those words have echoed in the heads of the countless architects who have been tasked with undoing some muddled attempt at home improvement. Replacing those badly designed, shoddily constructed, poorly maintained additions and alterations can be a headache, particularly when they’re within or attached to period properties. This was exactly the challenge facing Wil Tunnell and Susie Turley of South Queensferry-based WT Architecture when they were called in to tackle the “guddle” at the rear of a traditional stone-built Victorian villa in Edinburgh’s Grange conservation area.
“The back elevation of the house was a bit of a hotch-potch,” recalls Wil. “The two-storey house had originally been extended in the Victorian era, and a glass lean-to back entrance had been added much later. There was also an awful 1970s plinth made from the kind of facing stone you’d see on Val Doonican’s fireplace! And it was sinking because it was jerry-built.”
This wasn’t the only problem that WT Architecture had been asked to solve. Although the house was blessed with large, mature and secluded gardens, these were barely discernible from indoors. Steps and a small patio (the “awful plinth”) had been built in the 1970s in a bid to create some sort of physical connection, but without much success. Furthermore, while there were generously proportioned high-ceilinged reception rooms to the front of the house, the kitchen, at the back, was small, poorly lit by natural light and accessed solely through the dining room.
This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 150-158, issue 106.
Photography David Barbour
Words Caroline Ednie
What An extended Victorian villa
Where Grange, Edinburgh
Architect WT Architecture