Ravelston Dykes Lane

Konishi Gaffney Architects were approached by a couple retiring and moving from the Far-East back home to Edinburgh. They had purchased a 1960s detached bungalow (designed by LDN in 1964) with planning permission to demolish. Plans commissioned by the seller were for a new build, two-storey flat roofed house. Given the client’s desire to build as environmentally friendly as possible it was quickly decided that the existing house should be developed and extended to maintain the embodied energy in the house.

We also liked the existing house with its low, horizontal proportions and Japanese modernist aesthetic and so advocated for its retention. The design develops a Japanese sensibility, shared by the client, in blending internal and external spaces to connect the house to its large mature front and rear gardens.

By clearing out the existing partition walls and opening up the pitched roof, a generous open plan living space was formed with views through the building from front to back. This main space has a new roof structure with scissor trusses and timber deck whitewashed to express the lines.

A new rear extension forms the private wing of the house with three new bedrooms, two bathrooms and a tatami room that opens out onto the south facing deck. These are connected by a long internal corridor with a view out to the garden beyond.

A new front door to the street was formed such that visitors don’t walk through the beautiful, front garden to get to the main door. This reconfigured entrance sequence helps isolate the garden from the road to enhance its tranquil setting. The existing garage was tied into the overall form of the building with installation of a pitched roof and formation of an external corridor [nuri-en].

The house was insulated with 180mm of external insulation applied to the whole building creating very low u-values. Triple glazing, a ground source heat pump, 2 banks of solar photovoltaics and water recycling sanitary-ware all contribute to its strong environmental pedigree.

  • Location: Ravelston Dykes, Edinburgh 2016
  • Photography: © David Barbour