Projects

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. Newbryres castle was ‘adopted’ by the Adopt-a-Monument Scheme run by Archaeology Scotland last Summer. Last week saw the first community volunteering day, led by myself …

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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, in Rutland Square Edinburgh  and attended by about 30 architects, engineers and academics. It turned out to be a thought-provoking afternoon with some excellent speakers (see …

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Branched tree posts – first in Scotland?

Last week I spent another glorious day surveying trees in woodland near Abbey St. Bathans in the Scottish Borders. These are to be used as posts and beams in two new buildings that I am designing for Happy Days, a nursery in Dalkeith. But we’re not just looking for any old posts and beams – we’re …

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New build at Eco-Nursery using natural materials

Halvorsen Architects was recently granted planning permission to enlarge Happy Days nursery near Edinburgh, for a design that reinforces the pre-school facility’s green ethos. The client, Genesis, which owns and operates several nurseries across Scotland’s central belt, chose Halvorsen Architects after seeing our timber building projects with local primary schools. Genesis promotes a healthy lifestyle …

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Old dairy restoration

45 Main Street is a listed Georgian house in the heart of Gorebridge’s old town. It falls within a conservation area that is part of the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) funded by Historic Scotland and Midlothian Council to help in the restoration of buildings. No. 45 used to be the town’s dairy. Halvorsen Architects acted as architect for the …

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Hempcrete – a natural building material

Marijuana may be great for getting high, but the architectural value of cannabis is in the industrial hemp that forms a vital ingredient of products including hempcrete. Hempcrete is low-tech natural building material made from the chopped stalk of the hemp plant and a lime-based binder. It is carbon-negative in that it absorbs carbon dioxide …

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Passivhaus Studio, Edinburgh

Passivhaus Studio, Edinburgh

client private engineer CRA Ltd. contract value £70,000 area 55 sq. m. The client lives in a listed 1950s, Morris and Steadman house – the ‘Upside Down House’, and needed more room for an expanding family. After looking at various ways of extending the existing house in a bold manner, sympathetic to the original design, …

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DNA sculpture, travelling UK

DNA sculpture, travelling UK

Poet Melissa Bailey asked me to collaborate with her on the design an installation that represents DNA and it’s unchecked mutations that can lead to cancer. She wanted a sculpture related to her poetry and also a place where one could listen to the poetry. We asked genetic scientist Fiona Moorman to join our team to advise how best and …

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Wooploft, Scottish Borders

Wooploft, Scottish Borders

As part of the wood workshops I run with Stephanie Walker, Wooploft was one of the most ambitious. Pupils from Tynewater Primary School’s P7 class designed and built the structure in one year year under the auspices of International Year of the Forest, and with a grant from the Forestry Commission. The aims of this workshop …

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Newbyres Castle, Midlothian

Newbyres Castle, Midlothian

Newbyres castle is one of those hidden gems. Tucked away behind Newbyres Hall on Gorebridge Main Street, you could once have quite easily walked past the ruins, which were covered by debris and vegetation, not knowing it is an Historic Scotland scheduled monument. But no longer. On behalf of Gorebridge Community Development Trust I have run …

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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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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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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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