Manse House

The brief: The owners of this listed Manse in the Trinity area of Edinburgh asked us to improve their existing kitchen, provide utility space, a family area and playroom, somehow utilising a narrow outshoot on the western boundary previously given over to storage. Taking advantage of the existing views and providing more natural light into the house was a key part of the brief. We were also asked to provide a new garage.

The Design: The Manse lies at the top of a steep hill and commands spectacular views of the Firth of Forth to the north. As a result of this elevated position the steeply sloping garden was terraced, unusable in itself and with very little connection to the house. Access to the rear garden was via the rather dark and pokey store areas.

Part of the store area was excavated to create a new, linear kitchen, leading to an informal dining area, in turn, linking through to the formal dining room on the north of the main house. A new sloping rooflight floods the new space with daylight. This enfilade culminates in the family room – a structural glazed box which makes the most of the views over the garden and out to the Forth. The new playroom replaced the old kitchen.

The rear garden did not function particularly well and we utilised the new garage roof to improve this. The garage set into the hill and the flat green roof extends the useable garden above, forming a large, level terrace, far enough away from the house to enjoy good sunshine during the day.