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Lynsay Bell Architecture gets OK for barn-inspired Edinburgh homes

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Lynsay Bell Architecture (LBA) has won the go-ahead to build three ‘luxury’ townhouses overlooking the Royal Observatory and Liberton Tower in Edinburgh

The practice describes the design of the scheme, which will replace a derelict outbuilding next to a Category B-listed 19th century farmhouse at Liberton Brae, as ‘a contemporary interpretation of the existing agricultural barn’.

The four-bedroom, 160m² homes are expected to sell for £500,000 each. The design features standing-seam metal roofing, vertical timber cladding and a stone wall base re-using stone on the site. David Hill, design director for LBA, said: ‘The location and design of the townhouses set it apart, it’s a location that feels rural yet the properties benefit from a highly contemporary design.’

He said: ’The development will really come alive in the early evening with the glow of light from the internal spaces through the “hit and miss” timber cladding and with the backdrop of the observatory and Liberton Tower in the low-level evening sun. It’s going to be spectacular.”

The development is backed by Glencairn Properties and will start on site later this summer.

5 resized

5 resized

Architect’s view

The internal design of the townhouses is focused around a central fully glazed external void courtyard, which cuts through the roof and down through both floors of the properties. Natural light and ventilation will permeate the core of the building.

On entering the building at ground level, there is a covered entrance hallway, which leads past the glazed internal courtyard to the staircase, which takes you up to the first-floor open-plan living area above. Two double bedrooms open onto the courtyard at ground floor with a further two bedrooms located to the rear of the property. There is also a smaller private bedroom courtyard with framed views through the stone wall across the fields to the west.

The first-floor level showcases the living and dining area’s expansive open views perfectly, with an impressive vaulted ceiling and floor to ceiling glazing opening onto a large external partially covered private terrace with frameless glass balustrades. The terrace will benefit from the sun during the day while providing a sheltered area to dine in the evening.

A feature glass floor leading from the dining area to the east-facing family-sized kitchen serves as a stylish ‘bridge’ across the courtyard void. 

The ground floor stone wall of each townhouse property, which currently wraps and protects the barn, has been further incorporated into the design of the retaining wall to the front entrance of the building. This defines the vehicular entrance into the site and the elevation of a separate shared triple garage building to the south of the barn.

Each townhouse will also have a single garage with storage and a separate car parking space adjacent. These garages have been designed to blend sympathetically with their surroundings, embracing the rural feel of the site with natural stone walls and a wildflower green roof complementing the landscaped, shared wild garden to the south aspect of the barn. 

Plan

Plan

Project data

Location Liberton, Edinburgh
Type of project Residential dwellings
Client Glencairn Properties
Architect Lynsay Bell Architecture
Structural engineer David Narro Associates
Main contractor Glencairn Properties
Funding Undisclosed
Tender date Summer 2017
Start on site date Q3 2017
Completion date Q2 2018
Contract duration 10 months
Gross internal floor area 160m² per dwelling
Form of contract and/or procurement Undisclosed
Total cost Undisclosed

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