Bath Street Window
Portobello, Edinburgh 2009
"We love it... it was a cold dark place. Now we spend most of our time living in the kitchen"

A Grade B Listed building, situated in in the Conservation Area of Portobello, Edinburgh, the initial brief was for an extension. It quickly became clear however that an extension would do more harm than good, darkening the interior and limiting access to the garden. Instead we proposed to simplify the plan and create a new glazed corner to re-orientate the kitchen to the South and bring natural light into the house.

Working with the award winning structural engineers TALL we inserted a tiny 80mm steel post and a hidden steel beam with the stone cut with a lip over the steel edge and frameless glazing set flush to the walls and floor.

The glazing was carefully detailed to pick up existing joint lines in the stugged ashlar stone walls and set flush to the stone to accentuate the beauty and texture of the stonework. The glass also has a significant practical benefit of increasing the kitchen floor area by around 15%.

The existing garden access was removed and replaced with a small utility / drying space. All the walls were lined, insulated and draft proofed to current building regulation standards. This small scale intervention has turned a cold, dark kitchen into a central living space which the client claims has transformed their lives; all on a budget of less than 25,000.

Bath St was shortlisted for the Edinburgh Architecture Association (EAA) small projects award for 2011, the AJ small projects award and won a commendation from the prestigious Saltire Housing Award. It also made the front cover of the Architects Journal in February 2011 and has been widely published including on the cover of Beautiful Kitchens magazine.

Pictures by Alan Craigie & Douglas Gibb

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