Halvorsen Architects Blog

Wooden Roof

I was entranced by this simple but elegant roof from London-based Tsuruta Architects. Responding to a north facing and sunken site the architect has designed an exquisite timber dia-grid roof whose...

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Look no concrete!

Concrete accounts for 8% of CO2 emissions, far higher than aviation at 2.5%. So if we are to help stop climate change we need to stop using concrete. Even the...

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Strange times

Covid-19 update As the coronavirus outbreak continues, Halvorsen Architects’ thoughts are with our customers and friends at this challenging time. We recognise that you have many priorities, but we want...

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Grange House Transformed

Halvorsen Architects have just finished major works to a house in the Grange, a conservation area on Edinburgh’s south side which was first developed as an early suburb from the 1820s. ...

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The Beacon opening

Last week Gorebridge Community Development Trust held a party to celebrate the opening of the Gorebridge Beacon, our new community centre, earlier this year. Trust members and staff, funders and...

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Sun trap in Dunbar

Halvorsen Architects recently finished an extension to and remodelling of a 1970s house in Dunbar, East Lothian. A sun room, at the heart of the house, links the principal rooms...

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Wild strawberries on roof

Last month I visited Shepherd House, Inveresk, where I have carried out several small projects and was delighted to see wild strawberries growing on the green roof of the potting...

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SEDA conference 2019

A group of ecologically-minded people gathered in Forres to visit a collection of inspiring sustainable enterprises, hear some stimulating talks and exchange green ideas. Having spent the previous couple of...

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Nursery conference

The venue was more Bohemian than most – the top floor of a celebrated French restaurant in Soho. I had been asked to give a talk about nursery design by...

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Pizza oven

The children of Happy Days nursery, Dalkeith, wait with anticipation while they watch their handmade pizzas cook in their new pizza oven. The oven arrived with mesh around the insulation...

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Renewable energies CPD

Earlier this month I organised a CPD to unravel the complexities – claims and counterclaims – around the renewable energy sector. Several independent experts gave their views on how to...

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100 Sustainable Scottish Buildings

I recently attended the book launch of “100 Sustainable Scottish Buildings” by SEDA (Scottish Ecological Design Association). I strongly recommend it to everyone. As Robin Harper (SEDA’s patron) said “It...

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Slovenian wood

Last week I was in Slovenia for a tour of Riko’s timber factory in Ribnica, about an hour’s drive south of the capital Ljubljiana. I was invited there to look...

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Beauty and elegance

At last a skyscraper that is not yet another phallic symbol.  Herzog & de Meuron, architects of Tate Modern, have designed Beirut Terraces, a residential tower in the Lebanese capital. This beautifully...

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A Class Apart

Good article about new ways of looking at classroom design by John McDermott of the Economist. Just what I am doing for Happy Days nurseries.

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Woodland nursery

Planning permission has now been granted for a new nursery building that we have designed for Happy Days, in Eskbank, Midlothian. Midlothian Council planners refused to give consent last December,...

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Newbyres castle conservation

Despite the bitter cold over 20 volunteers and archaeologists turned up this week to spend a day clearing vegetation around the little-known ruin of Newbryres castle in Gorebridge town centre....

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My new signboard

I never really took to the yellow RIAS architects signboard. So I designed my own. Here is the finished product on site at Happy Days nursery, Dalkeith.

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Sick buildings

I organised an afternoon of CPD talks last week entitled ‘Breathability and low energy retrofit’. The session, organised for ECAN and a joint event with CIBSE, was held at the RIAS,...

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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...

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