So, last weekend I took to the road and had a good old nosey around some buildings in and around Edinburgh.
(For anyone that doesn’t know, doors open day is the chance to get into buildings where you wouldn’t normally be able to, you find a lot of folks that go to see the houses are neighbours looking for a nose at that “funny house”…)
First stop was out to a converted chippy in South Queensferry – the office of Will Tunnell Architecture (www.wtarchitecture.com/)
The office produce some really interesting work, lots on the west coast and one of my favourites of recent years – the white house on Coll (above) On their boards at the moment is a new hall for Iona which looks like it will be cracking when it gets the go ahead. It’s always good to go and have a gander around an architects office, reminds me that not everyone works from the spare room!
Next up was a visit to the recently completed McNeil House, which is nestled nicely into a sloping site – it’s a retirement home (of sorts) designed by Lorn MacNeal Architects (www.lornmacneal.co.uk/)
Internally it has some interesting spaces where volumes overlap and wee nooks are made – the old dears that live here seem to like it!
Then it was on to Simpson & Browns Eco House (www.simpsonandbrown.co.uk/) which was absolutely mobbed! there was a strict one way system in operation, which to be honest kind of ruined the experience for me, the house looks crisp from the outside with some nice details and the owners are obviously keen gardeners!
Built on a sloping site, the internal spaces have a nice flow to them (via the one way system of course!) Definitely a house I would like to visit when there aren’t 100 others cramming into the 2 bed house!
On to Joppa, a place I had never heard of before, sounds a bit more exotic than a suburb of edinburgh too!
This was a renovation project to an old terraced house, when I say renovation, it’s more like a re-imagining…
Whilst not complete, you still got a good indication of the intents of the project and it really was surprising to get the feeling of space and light in such a tight floor plan. Monster windows like the one below really help!
It was also interesting to talk to Matt Johnson (the architect www.a449.co.uk/base/) someone that’s recently set himself up and producing some good work.
Last stop was the Steel House designed by Zone Architects (http://www.zonearchitects.co.uk/) which is a building I’ve seen a good few times in various publications, it was well worth the nosey!
This one was (again) overflowing with people so there was a one way system in force! although the spaces internally were successful, the window openings didn’t really offer any privacy at all, maybe that’s just Island living catching up on me, but there seems to be about 6m between the bedroom and dining room (floor to ceiling) openings and the back wall of flat (or office) windows…
Anyway, a good day out was had by all (me) and I’d highly recommend doors open day to anyone – they have them all over the place at different times of the year http://www.doorsopendays.org.uk/opendays/default.aspx