Gail Halvorsen

Happy Days nursery, Midlothian

Happy Days nursery, Midlothian

I have done several projects with children and schools with Gorebridge Community Development Trust. One of these projects – Wooploft – caught the eye of a new client, Genesis (J&T) Ltd. I am designing two additions to their Dalkeith Happy Days nursery – a dining room and a pre-school room. Happy Days is an Eco-School. All …

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Assemble: a worthy winner

I am delighted to learn that Assemble has won this year’s Turner prize. Assemble is a London based architecture collective carrying out innovative low-cost work with local communities and arts organisations. There has already been some discussion about is this art? Bearing in mind some of the conceptual art that has won the prize over the past 20 years …

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House in area of outstanding natural beauty, Midlothian

House in area of outstanding natural beauty, Midlothian

client private engineer CRA Ltd. contract value £300,000 area 140 sq. m. The client wants a family house for a stockman in an area of outstanding beauty overlooking Crichton Castle. There are several contradictory requirements that need to be satisfied in the design of the house. The house needs to be physically near the cattle …

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House extension, Midlothian

House extension, Midlothian

This is an extension to a Georgian sandstone house in Midlothian, using a timber frame, timber cladding and large areas of glass. The cladding is Siberian Larch – a popular cladding material with architects because of its durability, cost and more consistent texture than its Scottish counterpart. The timber is untreated and will turn silver-grey …

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Extension to and remodelling of house, Bristol

Extension to and remodelling of house, Bristol

This project was for a client for an extension to and remodelling of house, Bristol that I had worked for in London. He had a similar situation in Bristol – a Victorian house that was too dark and pokey for his liking and an unused attic. In this case planning permission was not required as …

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Disappointing planning decision by Midlothian Council

As co-chair of Gorebridge Community Development Trust I sent this letter to the Midlothian Advertiser. Unfortunately it seems that nothing can be done now to change the council’s mind but a lot of people are very angry. Dear Editor, Gorebridge Community Development Trust is dismayed and troubled by the recent decision by Midlothian Council Local Review …

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House on site of barn, Midlothian

House on site of barn, Midlothian

Planning permission has been approved a four-bedroomed house in rural Midlothian on the footprint of a redundant pole barn. The plan, height and roof profile were all dictated by the shape of the barn – a stipulation by the planners. It will be clad in untreated larch which will turn silver-grey over time. This will …

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House extension, London

House extension, London

The clients wanted a new play room and bedroom extension for their listed Georgian terraced house in Marylebone, central London. The challenge for Halvorsen Architects was to provide reasonable accommodation on a very narrow site with onerous planning constraints. The scheme was for a two-storey rear extension divided into three bays. Each bay has a …

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Westminster underground station, London

Westminster underground station, London

Westminster Underground project and site architect in collaboration with Ove Arup & Partners client London Underground Ltd engineer G.Maunells and Partners landscape architects Wong Tung and Partners contract value £32 million area 6,000 sq m The client asked Michael Hopkins & Partners to design a new Underground station at Westminister for the Jubilee Line Extension. …

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House extension, Midlothian

House extension, Midlothian

Halvorsen Architects were asked to replace an existing lean-to extension and remodel the interior of part of a Georgian house in Lasswade, Midlothian. All the internal walls in the area concerned were removed and a new purpose-made stair installed. The floor to ceiling glazing and open-plan hall/stairwell allow maximum light inside where there had been …

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Timber barn, Midlothian

Timber barn, Midlothian

The clients wanted a large rural barn/shed in which to store agricultural, gardening and leisure equipment. The building is clad in timber and carefully detailed, which means it is a much more attractive building than the standard metal sheds favoured in the locality. It is also a surprisingly economical solution. The barn/shed uses an existing …

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Wesley Crescent, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian

Wesley Crescent, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian

Wesley Crescent, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian client private engineer CRA Ltd. contract value £90,000 area 43 sq. m. The clients for this residential extension had recently returned from living in France and Switzerland and wanted to introduce the same quality of light and open-plan living in a modern style that they had enjoyed there. The rear of …

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Gorebridge Beacon, Midlothian

client Gorebridge Community Development Trust architect Lee Boyd engineer David Narro Associates mechanical and electrical engineer Irons Foulner Partnership landscape architects Rankin Fraser contract value £2.7 million I joined the board of Gorebridge Community Development Trust in October 2007 in order to help the trust in the design and procurement of a new community centre …

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House extension, Edinburgh

House extension, Edinburgh

Greenhill Place, Edinburgh client private engineer CRA Ltd. contract value £90,000 area 58 sq. m. The brief was to replace and enlarge an existing poorly built 1970’s extension to a Listed Georgian terraced house on the edge of the Grange. The challenge was getting light into the North facing extension and designing a connecting glazed …

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The New House, Buckinghamshire

The New House, Buckinghamshire

The New House, 1992-94, Amersham, Buckinghamshire client private engineer Whitby and Bird Engineers contract value £375,000 area 380 sq m The client asked for a modern house that would benefit from its position in the Chiltern Hills. The relationship between inside and outside was of primary importance in the design. One enters the house through …

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Marco Biagi visits trust

Marco Biagi MSP, minister for local government and community empowerment, visited Gorebridge Community Development Trust in August. It was a valuable meeting and gave us the opportunity to quiz him about the Scottish government’s Community Empowerment Bill and also to share some of our frustrations regarding our new community hub. We explained the problems we have had …

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Two New Houses

Planning permission has been approved for two separate, new, four-bedroomed houses designed by Halvorsen Architects in rural Midlothian.  They are both in the beautiful area around Crichton Castle, with one actually overlooking the ruined keep. Midlothian Council was concerned about the impact the houses might have on this area of outstanding natural beauty, so great …

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Timber Extensions

Here are a couple of recent extensions to sandstone Georgian houses in Midlothian, both using a timber frame, timber cladding and large areas of glass. Both use Siberian Larch as the external cladding, but in different arrangements to suit each particular building. Siberian Larch is a popular cladding material with architects because of its durability, cost …

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