Latest

RIBA House of the Year 2021 13.11.2021
EAA Awards 2021 commendation for Treen 28.10.2021
Kyle House receives RIAS Award 2021 07.09.2021
Conservation Architect
We are seeking Conservation Architect 13.07.2021
In conversation with The Modern House 10.03.2021
Lundies House in Dezeen 01.08.2020
View all entries
King’s Edward Road
Residential / London, England / 2021

The existing 2 bedroom dwelling in King Edward’s Road, London was extended to provide a larger living space with an additional master bedroom. The design transformed the previously dark segmented property into a light, spacious family home. The material palette consists of subtly textured plaster, white oiled Douglas fir, pale brick, accent features in warm dark wood, chrome and black matt metal. Photography by Sustainable Kitchens.

 

Lake House
Residential / New York, US / 2020 –

The Lake House is a project for a family home on the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. The client approached GRAS to create a house which could simultaneously cater for the parent couple but also their children and grandchildren.

Using the challenge of a House which could expand and contract for two people and a house for 50 people; GRAS consider the project as a typological study on the evolution of the home in North America and in particular the suburban home. The re-interpretation of domestic and vernacular architectural influences occurs from the beginning of the Western inhabitation of America to the current day and it is the cross-pollination of influence which gives character to the Lake House project. The project aims to create an American sub-urban home but with a European and Scottish influence.

Isle of Lewis Residence
Residential / Isle of Lewis, Hebrides / 2020 –

The proposed family dwelling is located in Uig, a small village at Timsgarry on the Isle of Lewis. The house sits on an exposed site with immersive coastal views towards the southwest. The massing of the development is divided into three volumes containing the house, annex accommodation and garage which helps to break up the overall scale. The staggered arrangement of these elements references the asymmetric plans that are typical in the area, while the inclusion of prominent chimney stacks also evokes the local vernacular.

The building’s orientation on the site takes into consideration the views, sun path and prevailing winds. The main spaces are oriented to take the full advantage of the main southwest panoramic view and to allow morning and evening sunlight to enter. The main entrances to the house and annex on the north facades are protected from the southeast prevailing winds.

The material palette for the property responds directly to the built heritage of the immediate surroundings, whilst also aiming to provide a modern take on the farmhouse dwelling. The proposed cladding is a mixture of textured, painted wet-dash render on the lower part of the facades, with lighter timber above. The materials are distributed across the development to create a sense of scale more characteristic of the area. The pitched roofs of all three volumes are covered with corrugated metal sheets reminiscent of typical agricultural buildings.

View project /
West End Townhouse
Residential / Edinburgh, Scotland / 2020

GRAS were appointed to refurbish and convert two flats back into a full townhouse together with a new rear extension to house a swimming pool and spa facilities. The townhouse was converted into two flats in the 1960’s so a significant move was reinstating the first flight of the central stair in stone. Other works were installing en-suites to all of the bedrooms with new hardwood parquet flooring throughout. 

Lundies House
Residential / Sutherland, Scotland / 2019

Situated in the village of Tongue, Sutherland, in the shadow of the iconic Ben Hope, Lundies looks over its stone walls and gardens towards the ancient ruins of Caisteal Bharraich and the dramatic Kyle of Tongue. The former 19th-century manse has been meticulously repaired and sensitively adapted to create accommodation in the form of three period-inspired guest suites and an attic-level apartment. The creative team at conservation and hospitality organisation Wildland were deeply involved in all aspects of the project, from defining a clear, ambitious vision to sourcing and commissioning unique pieces of furniture and artworks at completion.

View project /
Dovecot Road
Residential / Edinburgh, Scotland / 2019

GRAS have recently completed a contemporary extension and refurbishment of a family home in Corstorphine. The ground floor is significantly reconfigured and extended to provide a large kitchen, family room, and dining room with large slim profile sliding doors on to the garden. A first floor extension provides an additional bedroom and is conceived as an elemental sculptural form clad it tiles to match the existing roof.

BE Residence
Residential / Dunadry, Northern Ireland / 2018 –

BE Residence is a proposed new home for a growing family in Northern Ireland. It was conceived as a modern farmhouse drawing on the vernacular form and groupings of existing properties throughout the region.

The gentle slope of the site allows the building to hunker down into the landscape so it appears unimposing on approach from the north. The south, east and west elevations, however, open up to frame long views and maximise natural light throughout the day.

The building comprises several distinct but permeable volumes containing a variety of different functions, which are connected by an open central living space. The positioning, orientation, elevation and arrangement of forms allows uninterrupted views from and between these spaces and towards the surrounding open fields. A series of open-air terraces slotted in between offer unique views whilst allowing sunshine and shelter from the wind to be found. These terraces border the fields on all sides without walls or fences, gently connecting the house to the expansive, open landscape.

The house is split into three volumes, breaking the programme into the main two-storey family wing, the single-storey guest wing, and a connecting element in between that houses the kitchen, living and dining areas. Extended fingers of landscaping and stone retaining walls interact with the slightly sloping ground to help root the dwelling within the landscape. A single-storey garage projecting from the central link introduces the house on arrival as a stone wall that extends through the building to bridge the inside and outside.

As a direct response to the built agricultural and residential heritage of the immediate surroundings, the main material palette for the dwelling comprises stone rubble walls, untreated timber and a corrugated metal roof.

View project /
RB Residence
Residential / East Lothian, Scotland / 2018 –

RB Residence is contemporary building in a rural setting, which embodies a clear departure from the traditional notion of a farmhouse. Inspiration for the building’s form and materiality came from the agricultural vernacular of the adjacent farm buildings and those found throughout the Tweed Valley. The new accommodation is conceived as a reinterpretation of these utilitarian sheds and barns, built from readily available and low-cost materials such as rough-sawn timber, mild steel and profiled metal sheet roofing.

The house’s primary orientation follows a northeast to southwest axis, which is typical of agricultural and industrial buildings along the length of the Tweed Valley. On approach, the property appears as a simple, low-slung pitched roof, built in corrugated sheet metal and supported by a functional steel and glass frame – a ubiquitous form throughout the Borders. Overhanging eaves soften the building’s edge, blurring the threshold from inside to out and heightening engagement with the surrounding landscape. Beneath the eaves and the projecting gable roofs, a continuous terrace extending around the perimeter of the house creates a series of covered spaces of varying scales and outlooks.

Continuous timber walls running the length of the house are broken by sliding screens that can be drawn aside to reveal floor-to-ceiling glazed openings. These glazed screens also slide away so that living spaces can be opened up to the terraces on all elevations. This series of internal, covered and external spaces combined with the layered façade provides adaptability to suit seasonal uses. A rational plan with generous circulation both inside and out provides a series of single- and double-height linked spaces, each with their own character, scale and framed views across the fields to the Cheviot Hills. Glazed gables provide focused views to the farm steading and to the forested areas to the northeast.

View project /
Kyle House
Residential / Sutherland, Scotland / 2018

Located at the southern end of the Kyle of Tongue in Sutherland, Kyle House occupies an elevated site with uninterrupted views in all directions. The humble, peaceful, low-energy house is built to last for generations and is perfect for two people to live slowly and comfortably while immersing themselves in the dramatic, natural setting. The building dates from the early to mid 19th century and is believed to have been built using stone salvaged from the nearby iron-age Dun Mhaigh broch.

Kyle House is part of Wildland, an ambitious 200-year project established by Anne and Anders Holch Povlsen, which aims to protect and restore large parts of the Scottish Highlands through a process of careful conservation and re-wilding. At the beginning of the project, the derelict house consisted of a stone shell with an asbestos roof, which was windowless on three sides and had lain disused for two decades. Anne Holch Povlsen and Swiss-based interior designer Ruth Kramer developed a vision for the building that brings together the best of Scottish and Scandinavian design to create a special and emotive work of architecture.

View project /
Loch House
Residential / Sutherland, Scotland / 2018

Pre-fabricated modular house type suitable for a variety of sites in the Scottish Highlands. The principle ambition of this project is to create a series of high quality dramatic but functional spaces which have a strong relation with their natural surroundings in every direction and make effective use of natural light and ventilation. The square plan means the building can be sited in many different locations without significant alteration while the plan can be easily rotated or mirrored to suit different orientations and access points. The living / dining room is the largest space, located centrally and connected via covered external spaces to each of the four external elevations. This space is connected directly to each of the surrounding internal spaces: study / library, art studio, kitchen and the main bedroom. Each of these spaces can be opened to the surrounding wilderness and living spaces or they can be closed to create more intimate, private spaces. The large glazed openings to the main living space provide dramatic, framed views to the surrounding loch and woodland and a large roof-light allows clear views to the sky above.

The building has a simple, rational plan and utilises common tried and tested materials and techniques to create a unique, sculptural building. The outer walls consist of a well insulated timber frame, cedar clad construction which weathers naturally over time allowing the building to gradually blend in to its surroundings as a result of local weather patterns. The roof is also constructed using a well insulated timber frame, clad with lapped cedar boards as is commonly found in the traditional buildings of Scandinavia. The continuous timber cladding on all external faces gives the building a clear sculptural identity.

Geordie’s Cottage
Residential / Cairngorms, Scotland / 2018

Geordies cottage was originally occupied by the workers at Killiehuntly Farm. The traditional but and ben cottage was enhanced by the addition of two extensions, one to form an entrance vestibule and the other housing the kitchen. This opened up the interior to be more spacious, allowing for a large sitting room, two bedrooms and a bathroom on the ground floor, along with a twin room upstairs in the attic with an adjacent shower room. GRAS’s restoration of the original structure uses traditional materials and techniques, while the interior is enhanced with wood-lined walls throughout. The sitting room features exposed stonework and a wood-burning stove that provides a comforting and attractive focal point.

View project /
Killiehuntly Hayloft
Residential / Cairngorms, Scotland / 2018

Part of the Killiehuntly Farm complex, the steading building had deteriorated over time and was being used as a working farm building. GRAS faithfully restored the building back to its original form as a U-shaped structure arranged around a cobbled courtyard. The building now houses the laundry, the estate office and meeting space, and a self-catering property in the former hayloft to the rear. The compact retreat occupies the original footprint of the hayloft and incorporates a small kitchen and shower room on the lower floor, along with a large sitting space and bedroom on the upper level, linked by a new Douglas fir stair. The water wheel was restored by Knockando Blacksmiths, which cast some new sections for the wheel and installed new oak blades and the launder to enable it to function again. 

View project /
Thistleborough
Residential / Crumlin, Northern Ireland / 2017 –

Formal in design, Thistleborough echoes Ireland’s rich heritage of indigenous neo-classical architecture. This proposed Palladian- style country house, south of Crumlin, N. Ireland, is some 1380 square metres in area and incorporates a dwelling house and ancillary accommodation, including a swimming pool.

Murrayfield House
Residential / Edinburgh, Scotland / 2017

This detached private house has undergone significant alteration over time, including the addition of a series of flat roofed extensions to the North and its division into two apartments before later being reconciled to form a single dwelling. The latter extensions were built to a poor standard and were suffering from extensive water ingress, dampness and dry rot, and as a result.

Reconfiguring the internal layout and extending the body of the main house created better, healthier living spaces. The existing roof void has been converted to form new sleeping accommodation. By improving the arrangement of internal spaces, the house is better connected with its garden and more suited to modern family life.

New Passive House
Residential / East Lothian, Scotland / 2017

In 2017 GRAS were granted planning and building warrant approval for a new 4 bedroom dwelling to PassivHaus standards in Gifford, East Lothian. On-site this year, the house will be one of the first buildings in East Lothian to meet the Gold Label standard for sustainability under Scottish Building Standards.

F-shaped in plan, with a long south-facing façade and internal courtyard, the replacement house will be timber clad using sustainable Scotlarch cladding, have a standing seam zinc sheet roof and magnesium coated galvanised rainwater goods. the building fabric will be constructed from closed panel, twin stud timber-frame walls and roof, and with full-fill pumped Cellulose insulation. This will give very good and high thermal mass with excellent heat retention and air-tightness.

The frame is supported on a fully insulated passive floor slab that will minimise any wall or floor cold bridging and will eliminate the need for footings.

The Pavilion
Residential / Edinburgh, Scotland / 2017

The Pavilion is a newly built, self-contained three-storey house within the curtilage of Lamb’s House in Leith. Built in the style of early 18th century garden pavilions, with an  iconic ogee roof, the compact tower sits comfortably alongside the recently restored 17th-century Lamb’s House and its two-storey office extension. The romantic little building took three years to complete and now provides self-catering accommodation in the heart of the medieval Leith Conservation Area.

The Pavilion was built with impeccable attention to detail using locally sourced or reclaimed materials. The house was designed upside down, with the living areas on the top floor and the bedrooms below, which adds to the Pavilion’s uniqueness. The structure overlooks a south-facing walled garden that was inspired by the romantic gardens of the Italian Renaissance. With parterres, pleached hornbeams, roses and seasonal flowers, it provides the perfect setting for a drink or alfresco supper.

The property’s interior combines early 18th-century style with Scandinavian influences. The rooms feature a calming colour palette and are furnished with elegant antique pieces, perfectly in keeping with the main house. The living room on the top floor features a vaulted ceiling and an open fireplace that enhances the period feel. Other highlights include a bedroom with a timber-lined box bed, and the main bathroom’s freestanding cast-iron bath with a hand shower and traditional Victorian sink.

To book a stay at Lamb’s Pavilion see lambspavilion.com

View project /
Glenfeshie Kennels Cottage
Residential / Cairngorms, Scotland / 2017

Kennels Cottage is situated in the Cairngorms National Park offering breath taking views of the Glen with its ancient Caledonian Pine forest and the hills beyond. The Cottage was refurbished internally to upgrade the previous tartan inspired interior to a refreshing cool contemporary feel with an eclectic mix of the best of well-known design items and original Highland architecture.

The space holds a carefully selected range of handmade Scandinavian furniture with a bespoke and curated collection of Scottish handcrafted fixtures. This includes the oak kitchen table, bunk beds with oak ladder, built in display shelves and pitch pine boarding made from reclaimed floorboards. Slim underfloor heating has been installed and reclaimed floorboards were re-laid. The kitchen and utility room includes polished flooring made from Caithness slabs, handcrafted fitted units and oak worktops.

To create a more cosy and comforting interior the living room has been lined with wood-panelling which surrounds the open fire. This now contemporary interior combined with elements of the original mid Victorian cottage reflects the Scottish traditions of hunting and sheltering people from the harsh but stunning natural climate, representing comfort and warmth. Kennels Cottage is part of Wildland projects.

Interior design by Ruth Kramer and photography by Martin Kaufmann.

Ruigh-Aitechain – Glenfeshie Bothy
Residential / Cairngorms, Scotland / 2016

Glenfeshie Bothy was renovated and extended to provide an access stair to the attic space increasing its capacity for the walkers who use it. The roof was replaced, fully insulated and lined internally with douglas fir boards. A new extension was built in stone using traditional techniques to house the new internal access stair which was also constructed in douglas fir. This extension also houses storage areas for the bothy. The two rooms on the ground floor have new flooring throughout and new stoves installed as the chimney was rebuilt. New doors and windows were installed throughout. The toilet was also fully refurbished to provide two toilets as opposed to one. 

Station Road
Residential / Belfast, Northern Ireland / 2010

Completed in 2010, Station Road house was the first to achieve a Category 6 (excellent) environmental rating in Ireland and is close to passive standard. The house is of a traditional “Tuscan” style to suit this important conservation area to be in scale with the neighbouring nineteenth century style villas.

Edgehill House
Residential / East Lothian, Scotland / 2003

A new-build private house in the Italianate manner with traditional detailing and materials of high quality. The design takes advantage of the spectacular views over Gullane Golf Course on it’s southern boundary.

Drumskew House
Residential / Northern Ireland / 2002

A new-build private house on the site of a previous farmhouse, Drumskew was designed not only to enjoy its fine views of the countryside, by virtue of its elevated position, but also to have an internal focus to the enclosed courtyard. the detailed design of the building reflects design traditions of the region.

Goblusk House
Residential / Enniskillen, Northern Ireland / 1996

Goblusk House is situated on the banks of Loch Erne. The design was based on Palladio’s Villa Forni-Cerato, with further influences taken from a neighbouring Victorian Italianate mansion. The plan of this family house is centered on a dramatic elliptical stair surmounted by a glazed cupola.

Craigwell Brewery
Residential / Edinburgh, Scotland / 1987

Change of use and restoration of late 19th century derelict brewery to form 22 new town houses and apartments. The building’s courtyard and walled garden were reinstated and new timber architectural elements took their cues from the building’s early industrial aesthetic.

RIBA Award for Scotland 1988 Architecture Award
Edinburgh Architectural Association Annual Award for Architecture  Commendation 1987

Balfour House
Residential / Edinburgh, Scotland / 1983

Balfour House, Cameron Toll, retirement home consisting of 49 flats, was built for Viewpoint Housing Association in 1983.

“Ingenious polychrome flats by Nicholas Groves-Raines…four storeys of red brick with yellow brick stripes along lintels and cornice, long and short yellow quoins at the windows and obtuse angles. The emphasis is horizontal in the window glazing, vertical in the framework that shoots up the front of each bay to make a triangular balcony on top.” The Buildings of Scotland EDINBURGH by Gifford, McWilliam and Walker, Penguin Books 1984.