GRAS is an award-winning architecture and design studio based in Edinburgh. By focusing on timeless design principles we develop refined yet characterful solutions that put the needs of their users first.
Building the future with a little help from the past, our projects span cultural, commercial, residential and leisure sectors, including building conservation, renovation, adaptive re-use and new-builds. Such diverse output demands an intuitive, yet responsive and highly contextual approach, ensuring no two projects are the same.
We work closely with our clients and contractors to ensure we deliver excellence at every stage of the design and development process. We bring our wide-ranging experience and expertise to each project, whether it’s the restoration of a historic building, the realisation of a new family home or the design and fit out of a boutique retail space. Our work is always bespoke and centred around an understanding of our social and ecological responsibility.
GRAS was formed in 2020 from the consolidation of two successful, family-run practices. Groves-Raines Architects was established in Edinburgh in 1972 by Nicholas Groves-Raines and Kristin Hannesdottir.
The studio spent over four decades restoring and adapting some of Scotland’s most significant listed buildings. In 2017, its founding directors were awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland for their service to Scotland’s built heritage.
Groves-Raines Architects Studio (GRAS) was set up in 2006 to focus on delivering progressive, sustainable and ambitious design solutions, ranging in typology and scale from handheld objects to urban planning. Headed by Nicholas and Kristin’s son Gunnar, the interdisciplinary practice brings a broad range of skills to projects in order to provide clients with a comprehensive service.
For over a decade, the two studios have worked together, using their complementary skills to deliver award-winning projects. Now incorporated as a single entity and with Gunnar Groves-Raines as director, GRAS will continue to benefit from the diverse skills of a team comprising design architects, conservation-accredited architects, building surveyors, archaeologists, interior designers, graphic designers, technologists, and fabricators.
As architects, we are aware of our responsibilities to produce timeless projects that will endure and be enjoyed by future generations.
Our team’s specialist skills in conservation planning and affinity for historic fabric ensure that our interventions are based on a deep understanding that allows seamless integration of the old and the new.
We are a dynamic studio, evolving and adapting as the world around us changes. We embrace opportunities afforded by the evolution of new technologies, while constantly scouring history to revisit past practices which might help unlock some as-yet unrealised potential or provide a solution to today’s problems.
Over the decades, we have conserved and restored many of Scotland’s finest period properties and buildings, bringing them new life and helping to secure their future. These include castles, stately homes, churches and even a 19th-century lighthouse at the southernmost point of mainland Shetland.
Our projects have won several awards, competitions and commendations, including the Chairman’s Award for Architecture at the Scottish Design Awards 2020 for Kyle House and The Sunday Times British Homes Award for Restoration 2016 for the Grade A-Listed Lamb’s House. GRAS was also awarded the Grand Prix at the Scottish Design Awards 2017 for its work on Craft Scotland & Emergents at London Design Fair.
Our team shares a deep commitment and passion for their work nurtured through active learning, discussion, and debate.
With a strong focus on open-minded collaboration to drive new ways of thinking, every project begins with a close working relationship with our clients, taking time for rich, explorative dialogue to understand and define their values to help guide good decision making. This collaborative approach extends across the project design team, ensuring those values are clearly communicated, understood, and followed in every aspect of the work.
A strong relationship between contractor and architect can unlock enormous value for the project and client, as the unparalleled experience of expert craftsmen can inform details, specification and project planning.
Meet the team
Awards & Commendations
2021RIBA House of the Year AwardLonglisted
2021EAA AwardsCommended Finalist
2021Country LifeTop 100
2020Scottish Design AwardsChairman’s Award
2020Country LifeTop 100
2019Civic Trust AwardWinner
2019Creative Edinburgh AwardsWinner
2019World Architectural FestivalFinalist
2018Scottish Design AwardsCommended Finalist
2017Scottish Design AwardsGrand Prix Winner
The Modern House2021
The Modern House Magazine2021
House & Garden2020