these options for a small accessible home on a narrow urban site can be developed for different briefs and sites. the core of the concept is how to live inclusively and accessibly in a small footprint, with enjoyable spaces that connect well, producing a home which has both variety and is a supportive environment
This project was to convert a church hall, which had been a much loved nursery, into a compact accessible living space. Using the front of the hall and carving out a courtyard to allow light into the depth of the spaces, arranged around the courtyard, giving each of them a connection to outside private space, as well as longer views out of the front. Each space has its own character, further enhanced by the colour and choice of materials and objects considerately placed by the client. Spatial and visual connections between each room were of great importance, to make a small place feel spacious.
As an existing church hall, the building already had a presence on the wide street, with its variety of scales of townhouses. With the ramp crossing the whole width of the building, a layering was set up, which we continued with layers of timber on the rendered front wall. The timber connects to the burnt larch timber cladding in the inner courtyard.
The client for the project was very hands on. From the design process through the whole build process, where she managed all the trades, and was involved in parts of the construction, including scorching all the burnt larch for the cladding herself (and really beautifully!)
The project is sustainable, in the decision to re-use an existing building which was no longer suitable for its purpose, in its choice of building materials, and just as importantly, in its inclusive, accessible nature.With a ramped entrance to get to a level ground floor with a main bedroom, wet room, and living and kitchen space, as well as a small snug / second bedroom. The roof space has been converted into a third bedroom and wet room. The accessible concept makes it a lifetime home for anyone.
In 2015 we completed one of our first projects as chambersmcmillan: a conversion of the ground floor of a Georgian house in Portobello, to make an accessible lifetime home for a couple after their children had left home. The house already had a wonderful space which had been a working man’s snooker hall and an artist studio, so we worked to retain the character of this space whilst providing a new bedroom, wetroom, and living spaces which connect to the kitchen, dining and garden.
If you are living in a space which doesn’t work for your needs or current uses, please get in touch to discuss how our design could change this.
This family home was designed with a couple and their two children, who were returning to Germany after twenty years in Edinburgh. They really wanted to take an atmosphere of Scotland with them, and modern takes on castles, maps, closes and Scottish materiality were discussed during the design process. Because it is a lifetime family home, time was spent developing the brief to create spaces that will work, flexibly, into the future of the family. Being a flat plot in the centre of the block, it was important that the design process created captured outside spaces, which connect well to the inside.