GRAS have been appointed to sensitively upgrade, repair and extend the village hall in East Lothian, providing a local community hub fit for the 21st century, unlocking its potential and opening it up to a wider group of users. Partial funding has already been secured from Fred Olsen Crystal Rig Wind Farm and works on site are scheduled to commence in Spring 2022.
The Literature House is the flagship project of the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. The project brings together two iconic Edinburgh buildings, John Knox House and the Scottish Storytelling Centre, to form a welcoming hub for Edinburgh as a literary city and Scotland as a literary nation. The Literature House will be a lively place of encounter with a mix of events and a visitor attraction. The offerings will include events spaces, interpretive experience , café and meeting place , bookshop and information centre.
The proposals require a sensitive crafted approach to deal with a complex set of buildings on a complicated site, and a highly aspirational brief. Witherford Watson Mann and GRAS have been working closely together on a feasibility study to develop a scheme which also improves accessibility, enhances the flow between the two buildings, and upgrades their fabric and services.
Constructed in c.1810, Eriboll Church was an unused kirk overlooking Loch Eriboll. Located right on the North Coast 500 route, the building was in poor condition and had no existing vehicle access or utilities when GRAS were appointed to upgrade and repair the whole building. Today, it is again available for occasional church services for locals and visitors alike. Internally, the building has been enhanced by the discreet installation of all new building services, the reinstatement of original plastered finishes and two new windows in the nave to let in additional natural light. Externally, a comprehensive programme of repairs has been undertaken using traditional materials, and a discreet new carpark and landscaping have been introduced to minimise impacts on the sensitive location.
Traquair House is a large fortified country house dating from the 15th century and thought to be the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland. The core comprises a 3-storey tower house built circa 1492, this having been enlarged and extended throughout the 16th and 17th centuries to give the house its distinctive and architecturally complex form. GRAS have a long period of involvement with the estate extending over many years and have been responsible for successive schemes of alteration and repair to the house and other buildings.
Our most recent commission involved investigating and reporting on the condition of the external harling and stone masonry to the external walls and other features of the house, setting out recommendations for repair. A suitable contractor was then appointed and an extensive programme of repair works were agreed and implemented.
This first-floor flat in a 19th-century building in Edinburgh’s historic New Town had suffered from several unsympathetic alterations before being carefully refurbished by GRAS in close collaboration with our design-led clients, Nina and Craig Plummer. Original features were delicately revealed and new elements thoughtfully introduced throughout the property, which was built in 1878 to house a church hall and offices. An expanded kitchen and enlarged opening onto the living space retain the sense of the original layout through the addition of panelled double doors that fold back to reveal crafted pieces of furniture by designer Sebastian Cox for deVOL Kitchens.
Highly curated new details sit beautifully alongside time-worn elements, whether existing or introduced. The flat has been attentively updated to reflect the slow-living philosophy promoted by Nina and Craig through their online homewares store, Ellei. The flat also serves as a studio used for styled photoshoots of Ellei’s products, so the design had to encapsulate the values of thoughtful homemaking. The renovation project retains the bright and spacious feel of the rooms along with a sense of building’s history, whilst providing spaces that are suited to a contemporary, considered way of living.
The Bothy is located at the end of a row of outbuildings and would once have housed the farm’s workers. Originally, two properties were linked forming a two-bedroom dwelling, laid out in a linear pattern with a sitting room at one end that was accessed by passing through the kitchen. GRAS employed traditional techniques to refurbish the property, which now features timber-lined rooms and a corridor with an exposed stone wall. Built-in bunk beds developed in close collaboration with the creative team at Wildland were fabricated by Bodan Workshops in Edinburgh, along with other smaller joinery pieces. Adjacent to the cottage is a small walled garden filled with herbs and flowers that provides a sheltered space to sit and enjoy the scenery.
Lamb’s House is one of the finest surviving examples of a merchant’s house in Scotland and is now the most significant building of its age in Leith. The house, built in 1610, is category A-listed and lies within the medieval core of the Leith Conservation Area, close to the old harbour. Despite having suffered many inappropriate alterations over its long life, the form and essential character of the house remained intact and many of its original features survive today. These include the stone turnpike stair, fireplaces, slop sinks and most of the original pine beams.
Saved from demolition and partly restored by the 4th Marquis of Bute in 1938, Lamb’s House was given to the National Trust for Scotland by Lord David Stuart in 1958. The restoration was completed and the interior adapted for use as an old people’s centre, with the addition of a hall extension in 1960-62. In April 2010, GRAS’s directors acquired the building from the NTS. Its condition was poor, heavily vandalised and very institutional.
Strathmore Lodge is a unique self-catering property belonging to a collection of extraordinary restored retreats that form part of the Wildland conservation project. The Lodge, which dates back to the early 1920s, lies at a bend on the banks of the Strathmore River as it flows northwards into Loch Hope. This refurbishment project was the first step towards restoring a number of traditional corrugated tin houses across Sutherland, which have been part of the highland vernacular for decades.
Killiehuntly is a luxury self-catering property belonging to a collection of extraordinary restored retreats that form part of the Wildland conservation project. The large 19th-century farmhouse and steading form the centrepiece of a rural estate in the Cairngorms National Park. All buildings have been carefully restored under GRAS’s direction with the use of local, natural materials and traditional skills. The interiors have been sensitively upgraded for contemporary living, whilst retaining historic architectural features and character throughout. The farmhouse opened in spring 2016 as a serviced holiday let, with its various outbuildings serving as additional accommodation. The restoration included returning the original water wheel to working order, providing a strong reference to the agricultural heritage of the farm.
On the Isle of Vaila, Vaila Hall, a late 17thC castellated mansion has undergone complete conservation, with minor alterations and additions to create a unique private dwelling in the dramatic landscape of the Shetland Islands. Mucklaberry Tower, C19th 2-storey square plan Baronial reconstruction, was also refurbished as a retreat. The nearby Arts and Crafts farmhouse of Cloudin was fully refurbished and harled to protect it against the Atlantic gales.
The creation of a comfortable, and contemporary dwelling through the refurbishment and re-instatement of this 17th Century category B listed farmhouse and steading range, including the restoration of an original tower house and mill wheel. Lightweight elements were introduced to link new accommodation in the steading buildings. Alterations to the steading itself are limited and seek to maintain the character of the existing courtyard, resulting in a dignified and practical family residence.
This category ‘A’ listed building, the first ‘Palladian’ style house to be built in Scotland, dates from the late seventeenth century. By the early 1990’s, gutted by fire, and a derelict shell, it was acquired by the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT). Work started on its restoration in 1993 and continued in phases as grant funding became available.
The final phase was completed in March 2001 with assistance from Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The restoration of this building demonstrates the adaptability of a 300 year-old house to provide modern office accommodation and function rooms. Groves-Raines Architects was appointed by the SHBT in 2011 to carry out a detailed condition survey, prepare a prioritised schedule of repairs and provide a fully costed 20 year forward maintenance plan covering both the building fabric and services.
An exclusive new housing development which was granted planning permission and listed building consent as part of an enabling package to facilitate restoration and reconstruction of the 17th century Sydserf House in East Lothian. The new ‘steading’ complex based on the original 19th century steading comprises of five new dwellings with courtyards and gardens.
Internal Alterations to a B-listed, three-storey townhouse on India Street in Edinburgh’s New Town. The project involved the faithful restoration of the property, returning several rooms to their original configuration and reinstating or repairing a range of original features. Stonework, roofing, window and drainage repairs were carried out on the exterior of the building, and where possible, existing floorboards were preserved.
New electrical, central heating and plumbing systems were designed and installed with great care and attention to detail to ensure that they did not have a detrimental effect on the quality of the building, while radiators and fittings were specified to match the buildings period, with the exception of a contemporary kitchen, designed and installed by Newcastle Kitchens.
The project required the reinstatement of missing period features to a fine Greek revival house as well as all necessary repair and new services. The stair had its cast iron balustrade restored and panelled doors and cornices were put back as required. The project included re-roofing and masonry repairs. The fine carving to the entrance doorway was restored including the full replacement of badly eroded elements. A new open plan kitchen, morning room was created and a large glazed garden room with timber lining and encaustic tile floor was added. New decorative etched glass panels were designed for various doors and windows.
Restoration of a listed country house – parts of which date to the 17th century, with much 19th century addition – from a hotel back to a family home. Complete refit of main house, with extensive stripping out, was required to remove unsympathetic alterations, stop the progress of rot and neglect, and to introduce new, modern services to create a comfortable family home.
The project included alterations to and restoration of the 19th century stable block to form staff accommodation and a party room. Also included was the restoration of the 19th century Lodge House with the addition of a new timber framed extension and repairs and restoration of the Doocot, Apple House and greenhouse.
Completed in 2006, this ogee roofed pavilion was an extension to a 16th century Towerhouse. The stone built pavilion opens onto the garden, accommodating a dining room and ancillary rooms. It sits comfortably in its setting, complementing both the Towerhouse and its Georgian extension.
Constructed circa 1575, this L-plan tower house, a scheduled monument, lay in ruins for many years. Ancient Monuments Consent was granted for a full restoration of the ‘A’ listed building to a private house, in close collaboration with the Ancient Monuments Division of Historic Scotland. The restoration was meticulously carried out using appropriate materials and techniques, in keeping with the building, its character and significance.
Broadwoodside Steading is an outstandingly successful restoration, conversion and extension of a B Listed farm steading, creating a generous family house featuring ample guest accommodation and stables. The historic building provided a sound framework within which comfortable, contemporary accommodation fits seamlessly. Completely new elements; the archway, doocot, loggia and ogee garden room were incorporated to give cohesion to an otherwise disparate group of farm buildings.
Now a private shooting lodge, Hopes House in East Lothian was built in1823 for the Hays at Yester by James Burn of Haddington. Work consisted of a complete refurbishment of the original house and the redesign and replacement of the rear service wing to include catering kitchen and staff accommodation. Within the walled garden are new ogee-roofed pavilions creating further staff accommodation. External works include landscaping, new tennis court and fountain.
The Eric Liddell Centre was a competition winning entry for the conservation and conversion of the redundant B-listed North Morningside Parish Church into a local community centre founded in memory of the Olympic gold medallist. The owners are a care charity, set up by the four congregations of the local churches, who work to provide alternative services to vulnerable people including those with dementia.
The project involved a radical intervention within the protected church nave to provide the required accommodation; creatively inserting a bold new structure within the existing building to create a reception, café, offices and flexible new rooms and suites that are available to hire to generate income and therefore ensure the project’s long-term future. GRAS and the structural engineers collaborated closely on this significant intervention, which additionally allows for closer enjoyment of the fine William Wilson stained glass windows, to ensure that the external shell of the building and the local conservation area remained unaffected by the development. All of the existing fabric of the building, including the glazing, was also carefully conserved and repaired as part of the grant-funded works. This marriage of imaginative reuse, conservation and upgrading has created a successful community hub that is welcoming, practical to manage and sustainable.
The project involved restoration of the listed external fabric and remodelling the interior, including the replacement of the original timber roof structures, to create a light and modern space for living and working.
Liberton House is an A-listed, fortified house, built in the late 16th century, and was home to the Groves-Raines family and Groves-Raines Architects until moving to Lamb’s House in 2010. Gutted by fire in 1991 after a long period of neglect, the house and gardens have been restored and now form a comfortable modern home and offices with a beautiful Renaissance garden.
Tollcross House was built in 1848 by David Bryce for the Dunlop family. It was converted into a local museum at the turn of the century within the recently created Tollcross Park. Latterly derelict, this category “A” Listed Building was purchased by Groves-Raines Architects for £1.00, restored, and converted into 13 flats for the elderly in collaboration with the National Trust for Scotland in 1992.
Edinample Castle, an L-shaped B-listed 16th Century towerhouse overlooks the banks of Loch Earn. Edinample was a derelict shell with a large 19th century extension when the Groves-Raines family bought it in 1985. After 6 years of work, it was sold in 1991, largely restored and its future secured.
Annanhill House is magnificent A listed Georgian mansion, built for the Dunlop family in Kilmarnock. This house, dating from 1700 and altered in 1820s, suffered years of neglect when it was refurbished and converted in 1989 providing 6 spacious dwellings. A new Georgian style ‘stables’ development was built in the grounds, forming 20 houses.
The successful restoration of Bankton House marked the completion of a protracted campaign to save this historic house from vandalism and neglect. Built ca 1700, the house was gutted by fire in 1966 and reduced to little more than a shell: roofless, with no interior features. After eight years of painstaking work the house was faithfully restored using traditional materials and appropriate detailing. The house with two distinctive pavilions is now a landmark, visible on the north side of the A1 near Tranent. The restoration of this B listed mansion was supported by Historic Scotland and East Lothian Enterprise Trust.
One of three fortified houses rescued from a derelict state by the Groves-Raines family. Peffermill House in Edinburgh, built in 1636 by Edward Edgar and his wife Margret, had suffered years of neglect and subsequent vandalism. In 1981, after meticulous restoration, the family moved in with the architectural practice sharing the ground floor. The grounds were later transformed, creating a series of gardens: a water garden, a flower garden, a vegetable garden and a wild garden. In 1995 the house was sold, now a part of the house is let as holiday accommodation.
Forter Castle lies at the head of Glenisla, at the entrance to the Balloch Pass to Glenshee and the Moncea Pass to Breamar. Built by the Ogilvies of Airlie in 1560 it was only occupied for 80 years when it was sacked in 1640. Forter remained derelict for 340 years until 1988 when it was purchased by the Pooley family. It had lost all interior details including the stairs and vaults and required considerable research to ascertain the original layout and details. The restoration from a roofless ruin took two years . The project was awarded financial assistance from Historic Scotland.