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  • Writer's pictureNíall Hedderman

Contemporary House Extension, Corstorphine, Edinburgh

It's great when someone contacts me out of the blue, viewing my projects online and wanting something similar. About two years ago a couple with a young family got in touch after moving from London to Edinburgh. They bought a house in Corstorphine, a well-established neighbourhood on the west side of the city. Their new house was a classic 1930's square plan, there are thousands of them all over Edinburgh. While these houses are well built, their original design doesn't suit modern living. The house had enough bedrooms and a large garden by Edinburgh standards, but it didn't have a hub for family life. The kitchen was tiny and disconnected from the living and dining rooms, nor did those rooms take advantage of the garden. The couple read about my one storey wrap-around extension in South Queensferry and asked me to do something similar for them.

Open Plan House Extension.

The client liked the idea of creating an open plan living space. They wanted the kitchen, living and dining all in one room yet not getting in each others way. They needed to cook while others were watching TV, reading a book or surfing the web, all in the same space but not interfering with each other. This works when open plan spaces are L-shaped but not square or rectangular. 

Renovating The Existing House.

The project involved extensive renovation of the existing house. The wiring and plumbing got renewed, the roof repaired and the entire property redecorated. The extension forms a new entrance to the house, which reduces the need to use the existing front door. This allows the existing hallway to become more private. There wasn't a clear division between public space and private in the existing house and the extension solved this. 

Public Space v’s Private Space.

In any well-designed house, there must be a clear separation between bedroom space and living space. It isn't enough that the homeowner knows the distinction, it should be plain to a complete stranger by just looking at the house. The new extension contains all the living space and the existing house is now given over to bedrooms.

A Sheltered Deck.

By placing the new open-plan space to the rear of the house it can overlook the long garden. The design created a sheltered deck, with a deep overhanging roof. This intermediate space allows the owner to be outdoors on days that aren't perfect and to make greater use of their large garden.

The three meter by six meter area of glass faces north, which provides an excellent level of uniform light throughout the day. North light doesn't cast shadows or create glare, it is ideal for reading, cooking and watching TV. With a highly efficient aluminium frame, double glazed unit, this wall of glass keeps the open plan space warm and well lit.

A New Hub For Family Life.

The new space has made a great hub for family life, a new entrance to the house and opened up the garden. This project has been a great success and if you want more information, see the Capital A website.


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