The Causeway Extension

This house was the Victorian dairy in Duddingston Village. The back garden had a shed housing 20 dairy cows, grazed on the hill behind (part of Arthur’s Seat). B-listed but long unloved the house needed major overhaul including new electrics and the installation of a heating system. It had damp problems, mould and also had suffered from unsympathetic alterations and additions in the 1970s.

With a dense collection of neighbours the brief was to extend the relatively small footprint out into the garden and to deal with the extreme change in levels: a 3m height difference between the front and back gardens.

Our proposal demolished the existing single storey extension and formed a new 2 storey building. The extension would be dug out and into the back garden forming a tanked retaining wall into the earth. We located a spare bedroom & bathroom on the ground floor and moved the main kitchen / dining / living space to the first floor with direct access to the rear garden.

We built a new garden wall in stone to match the existing house with the extension roof floating on a clerestory above. Planning required us to keep the extension roof below the eaves of the existing house but this would have meant a very low ceiling to the new extension. Instead we proposed a pyramidal roof with a form that allowed a flattening out to make a large south facing rooflight. The roof therefore became the architecture and we celebrated this form by moving the insulation to the outside of the roof and expressing the timber roof structure internally. Anthrazinc with standing seams on the outside continues this emphasis.

  • Location: Duddingston, Edinburgh 2015
  • Photography: © David Barbour