Founding Partner, Ed Kelly took a step back from the practice at the end of March, with the intention of retiring. He'll be working part time for a month or two to complete one or two key projects. Jon and the rest of the EKJN team will pick up Ed's remaining projects and drive the practice forward, building on the strong foundation that Ed and Jon have created over the past 11 years. Its been a blast, and the fun doesn't stop!
New projects continue to keep us amused. We've picked up our first commercial project in London this week, which is quite exciting for us.
The picture below shows Panmure House, one of our longest-running projects, currently a work in progress.
We're pleased to welcome Marina Petropoulou to the practice, in the role of Architectural Assistant.
The image below shows the proposed community hall in Kirklistion, which was awarded funding this month. Its an exciting project which will be going forward for a planning application shortly.
As usual there's plenty for us to be getting on with. January is always a month for lots of new projects to start and 2017 has been no different. Meanwhile two of our current projects are shown below. Both houses are undergoing a comprehensive refurbishment from top to bottom including new kitchens, new bathrooms, garden-room extensions and new under-floor heating systems. On the left, the McKee House, and on the right the Wlliamson House, both getting close to completion having reached the decorating stage.
Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year from all at EKJN. This month's image shows the completed refurbishment of the Cross Well in Linlithgow.
Our Autumn 2016 newsletter is available to download. Click the image for full details.
Just some of the projects we've got under construction at the moment all across Scotland. We've got new projects in the pipeline in the Trossachs, the Highlands and central Edinburgh which will keep us busy into 2017. Once we've got all these built we'll need new projects to get our teeth into, though, so bring it on! We'll be ready!
Partner Ed Kelly spent several hours at Duntarvie Castle as part of West Lothian's Doors Open Day, taking over 60 visitors to the ancient monument (the castle, not Ed).....
A quick round up of some of our projects currently under construction: A private swimming pool project in Edinburgh (top photo), a sun-room extension in Bo'ness (bottom left) and an innovative low-carbon extension to a farmhouse in Torphichen.
EKJN are Conservation Architects and 'framework' Architects for conservation projects for the Local Authority. As part of the framework we're currently involved in refurbishing the stone-built wells that stand in the market places of Linlithgow and Torphichen. Linlithgow's well is the bigger of the two, with elaborate carvings created by a one-handed stonemason in 1807 when the current structure replaced the 1628 original. Torphichen's octagonal well is plainer, dating from 1897, but rather beautiful none-the-less.
Breaking News: So the UK has voted to leave the EU. It remains to be seen what this means for the economy in general and for the construction industry in particular. A drop in the value of the pound will mean imported materials will go up in price, but a UK-wide slow-down in the economy might mean that labour costs go down to even out the balance. House prices may be affected, and interest rates may rise, throwing debt-equity calculations into a spin for a while. Let's hope it all settles down quickly and the promised prosperity outside the EU isn't just a mirage!
Looking forward to getting these two lovely projects under way.
At the top, 'Lessendrum', a new-build house in Linlithgow which is aiming for the 'silver active' standard of sustainability. The intention is to include solar PV and solar thermal panels, high-performance glazing, locally-sourced materials, smart metering, rainwater harvesting, a home-office, space for recycling and a host of other low-carbon features.
The image below that is the Watkins house, again powered by solar PV and using a mix of larch weatherboards and acrylic renders to give a crisp modern finish.
Both projects are due to be granted planning consent this month and should be under construction later this summer.
The Moncur-Gallacher house is complete, shown below. Nice mix of materials including cedar boards, acrylic render and aluminium composite windows.
Other news includes progress on the refurbishment of Linlithgow's Cross Well. The Cross Well is one of the finest pieces of street sculpture in Scotland but is in need of some attention to hold back the ravages of time, weather and pollution.
Congratulations to Architect Scott Wallace who married his fiance Isla in Anstruther this month.
Meanwhile we have submitted a planning application for another project close to the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, a 2-storey contemporary addition to the back of a handsome Victorian villa. Let's hope the Planners like it! [Update June 2016 - Granted consent and we are now progressing with detailed drawings]
Helping us out with our workload is Stefano Turato, an award-winning architect in his own right who has been helping us in our busy little studio.
A round-up of projects we currently have under construction: The Morrison house, Fowell house, Moncur-Gallacher house, Kenny house and Vellore house. All keeping us busy alongside design work for the Royal Society of Edinburgh's HQ, the Edinburgh Business School's Panmure House and the Castlehill Tartan Weaving Centre.
One of our major projects at the moment is this extension and refurbishment to a large Victorian villa close to the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.
January 2016 marks EKJN's 10 year anniversary. A lot has changed since we started out on 1 January 2006. Boom and bust has come and gone and we seem to be back to boom again. New projects include the Anderson house, the McEwan house, the Kitchin house, the Gold house, another private swimming pool and conservation works on two historic wells. The variety never ceases to amaze us.
Heartfelt thanks to everyone who's been involved over the past decade. Who knows what the next 10 years will bring!
Wishing all our friends a happy, prosperous, spacious, warm, secure, low maintenance, eco-friendly, well-conserved and architecturally interesting New Year!
The Mackinnon Scout Hall completed this month. PV panels, locally grown timber cladding, upgrades in structure, insulation and windows, LED lighting, new kitchen, refurbished toilets and improvements to accessibility - a comprehensive makeover for the old place.
Photos below include the brilliant celebratory cake made by Truly Scrumptious. A great example of the use of CAD (cake assisted design....).
Interesting projects this month include this planning application for a swimming pool and gym in Barnton. [Update May 2016 - This one's due to start construction in July and be finished for Christmas]
This month's image shows the proposed entrance foyer for Panmure House, construction of which is due to start towards the end of this year.
It's been a busy summer. Planning permission was granted for the McKee house, while the Brown house, Fowell house, Couper-Kenney house and Blewett house are all under construction. Work is progressing on the MacKinnon Hall and we have new commercial projects in Edinburgh on George Street and Castlehill. Meanwhile our habit of working on unusual projects continues with alterations to a statue on George Street, a glider store, a sail loft, two swimming pools and a drone survey of a church steeple. Never a dull moment....!
This month we've got the MacKinnon Hall refurbishment starting on site, the Morrison House, the Fowell House and the Duffy House out to tender, the McKee house in for Planning and we're starting design work on several new commissions including a swimming pool, a lecture theatre, and s gaggle of small developments of flats and houses.
The picture shows Ed Kelly being awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship by Queensferry Rotary.
AutoCAD 2016 has arrived and we are now using it throughout the drawing office. So for once, not only are we up to date, but we're actually working in the future....
Congratulations this month to Scott Wallace for passing his final assessments and being admitted onto the register of UK Architects and also into the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.
Meanwhile, Lafferty house nearing completion in Westfield....
Ed, when I said it was time for us to upgrade our Windows that's not quite what I meant....
Gibbs house now complete - image below. Nearing completion this month are the Lafferty House and the Fresson House - more details later. This month we've also got some interesting new commissions which we can't mention just yet, but safe to say that our unsual and varied workload is continuing to expand, and long may it last!
Happy New Year to one and all. This month sees the completion of our feasibility study into the potential creation of a new Film Theatre on Linlithgow's derelict Victoria Hall site. The proposal involves demolition of what remains of the old building and the construction of a modern three-screen digital film/theatre complex including a restaurant, three shops and seven flats. The plans also include a walkway through from High Street to the existing open-air stage in the old orchard behind the site, and on to the lochside 'Peel'.
The Linton House is complete with a new kitchen and dining room in time for Christmas. Meanwhile work continues on Panmure House, the Fresson House and the Lafferty House where some hardy souls will be enjoying Christmas without heating and with without a kitchen while the construction industry shuts down for the customary 2 weeks! Its all part of the plan for projects that are not expected to be complete until March and April. Happy Christmas one and all! It will all be worth it come the spring!
The Quinn House, Edinburgh, completed. Underfloor heating, open-tread oak stair with glass balustrades, exposed oak roof trusses, log stove. All finished ready for a great family Christmas.
have been successful in being appointed to two Framework agreements with West
Lothian Council, for Medium projects up to £250,000 and Conservation
projects up to £2 million +. The Frameworks are set to run for 2 years
with a possible 2 further years to follow.
Much talk of The Referendum this month, but in the end it is business as usual. Gibbs house progressing on site. Quinn house (pic below right) taking shape. Panmure House on site too (pic below left), also the Linton house, Crawford house and Vellore house all under construction. Lafferty house is about to start, and Fresson house out to tender, both of which will be keeping us busy through the Autumn.
Concept drawings for a revamp of the Barony Theatre in Bo'ness are on display inside the building on Borrowstoun Road. The theatre was originally built as a primary school and has been home to the Barony Players since 1964. The Players are now raising funds to improve the place, with the intention of creating a new entrance foyer, some bar/cafe space and some bigger workshops/stores.
That's it! At last the Panmure House project has started on site. It has been on the proverbial drawing boards since 2008, so it is great to see it starting to take shape in the real world.
Also on site this month is the Quinn House in Edinburgh, and starting soon will be the Lafferty House and the Linton House, along with one or two others.
Meanwhile the Gibbs house is taking shape, the exposed Douglas Fir portal frames and bolted splice plates looking quite special already.
A busy month sees us getting Panmure House contracts wrapped up ready for a July start, designs ongoing for the new Victoria Hall redevelopment, new projects in Edinburgh, Uphall, Linlithgow and Falkirk, and a planning application submitted for 19 flats on a site in Leven in Fife.
Work has started on site on the Gibbs house, which promises to be an interesting building when it is complete. Phase 1 has hardly got under way but Phase 2 has already been granted Planning Consent and will follow on with the minimum of delay. Exemplaray levels of insulation, glu-lam portals, underfloor heating and on-site electricity generation from the existing 34m wind turbine are just some of the unusual features of the project.
A proposal for a small development of flats at Corbiehall in Bo'ness was submitted for planning consent this month. The site sits between the listed Matt Steele building on one side and a modern development of brick-built flats on the other. Our design had to acknowledge and respond to both, which was the challenge we hope we achieved!
Meanwhile the Linton House received planning consent, as did the Watchhouse in Glendevon (more about that in later months). The Moore House in Dunblane reached completion, and the Quinn House in Edinburgh and the Lafferty House in Westfield have both gone out to tender.
Work continues on new concept designs for the Victoria Hall site in Linlithgow, masterplanning work for Port Edgar Marina, concept designs for refurbishment of the Barony Theatre, refurbishment of Vellore House and on the production of a Public Realm Design Guide for Linlithgow.
New projects this month include a development of 18 flats in Leven, and domestic projects in Blackness, Torphichen, Linlithgow, and Edinburgh.
Onward and upward!
It's March again, and the end of the financial year for many organisations. The usual scramble to get budgets spent and projects completed has been keeping our team busy all month.
First to complete was our refurbishment of the Glenview Park Pavilion in Stoneyburn, which has been given a new lease of life thanks to a new insulated roof, new windows, new external cladding, exterior landscaping, and new heating and lighting systems. The building is set to become a valuable community asset, as a drop in centre for young adults in the village.
Second across the finishing line was Phase 1 of the Castlebank Horticultural Centre at Castlebank Park in Lanark, pictured below. Phase 1 gets the horticultural side of things up and running and before the paint was even dry the Royal Horticultural Society have honoured the centre with an accreditation for the courses they will run. Phase 2 is still under wraps, but will eventually provide classroom and changing facilities, offices and stores and will include the very latest in heat-pump technology, PV panels and rainwater harvesting.
Our Spring 2014 newsletter is available to download. Click the image for full details.
Planning permission granted this week for the lafferty house project. A re-working of the ground floor of the house will create some much needed family spaces and will include a log stove with back boiler and a multi-input thermal store feeding the underfloor heating. Due on site later in 2014.
Happy Christmas One and All, and best wishes for 2014.
Work on the Castlebank Horticultural Centre is progressing. The growing area has been constructed and is almost ready for some plants. Meanwhile the first phase of renovating the Old Sawmill buildings is well under way.
This month two significant projects have started on site. Our project for a Horticultural Training Centre in Castlebank Park in Lanark involves conversion of some derelict tennis courts into a fenced growing area together with the renovation of a collection of derelict sawmill buildings. Meanwhile the final fit-out phase of a primary school in Bathgate has got under way, aiming to be complete early in 2014.
The good news this month is that our Panmure House project has started construction on site. It is only underpinning at this stage, but it means the rest of the project will soon follow, which is very exciting!
A busy couple of months has seen several projects completed, including Forth View shown below, photographed by DSC photography.
Development Site For sale, Avon Place, Linlithgow
Our site at Avon Place, Linlithgow, is on the market. Site area 470 sq m, for sale with planning consent for a carpark and office/studio (88 sq m, 947 sq ft). All enquires tel 01506 847151 or email email@example.com
Production drawings for our Panmure House project have been keeping the entire EKJN team busy this month, but there's been time to complete some other projects too. This month's image shows the Parkinson house now completed.
This month the design for Whistleberry Retail Park in Hamilton was completed. The design envisages 3 new-build units totaling 280 sq m GIF, which will be submitted for planning consent in July, aiming to be under construction later in 2013.
The usual eclectic mix of projects continues to keep the EKJN team on their toes. This month's image shows the conservation repairs to Kirkton Parish old church nearing completion, with turf tops being added to protect the walls of the ruin - which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument - repointing to the stonework in lime mortar and stonework conservation work to the recumbant effigy of a cleric within the walls.
Projects starting construction this month include the Nelson house in Falkirk, the Orr house in Linlithgow, the Watson house in Colinton and the Spreckley house in Kingscavil.
Pictured below is the St Mirren airdome, now complete and ready for use.
This month the latest proposals for Duntarvie Castle near Winchburgh gained planning approval. This means there will be a temporary use of the castle's grounds as a miniature tank adventure trail, intended to help kick-start funding for the main renovation project. Meanwhile work is progressing on our Panmure House project, alongside a large number of other smaller commissions all at various stages of design and construction.
Delighted also to be working on Phase 4 of the Simpson Primary School in Bathgate, due on site later this year, and on the new sports dome for St Mirren football club, Scottish League champions this year!
Finally, congratulations to Ian McIntyre who achieved Chartership status this month, and is now a Chartered Architectural Technologist.
Plenty for us to be busy with this month. The McCreadie House, the Houston House and the Robb House (phase 2) are all nearing completion on site, while the Pontin House, the Bull House, the Orr House, the Nelson House and the Parkinson House are just getting under way. The Stewart House, the Watson House, the Corrie House and the Spreckley House are all out to tender, so there will plenty to keep us busy over the next few months too.
Meanwhile historic repairs are ongoing at Linlithgow Burgh Hall and at Kirkton Parish Church, while new projects include schools, cafes, industrial units, a pub and a premier league football ground. Not too shabby!
Pleased to report that our current proposals for Panmure House in Edinburgh have been granted Planning Consent, so we're looking forward to a busy 2013!
They say you can't please all the people all the time but we've managed to please a few Planning Officers this month. Our proposals for a flatted development in Boness was granted planning consent (see May 12) and so was our proposal for a Horticultural Training Centre in Lanark (see August 12). Looking forward to progressing with both these projects in 2013.
News of our flagship project, the refurbishment of Panmure House in Edinburgh: The project has undergone a major rethink over the past few months. A revised brief from the client group, Edinburgh Business School, has produced a new response from the design team. The original proposal for a glass-walled, glass roofed-extension with a glass staircase, which was granted Planning and Listed Building consent in 2010, has now been put to one side. The new scheme includes a basement-level entrance foyer with a partially glazed roof, an extended roof terrace and a new traditionally-constructed stone staircase.
As with the previous scheme the project involves the reintroduction of period paneling and fireplaces into the main salons and the introduction of modern state-of-the art heating, ventilation and communication systems.
Another busy month. The McIntyre house has been completed by Tom Muir Construction, the MacClean House has been completed by S Ewing & Son and the McCreadie House is on site with David Angus Ltd. The Stewart House in Linlithgow has been granted planning permission as has the Nelson House in Falkirk.
Also granted planning permission is our design for a split-level new-build house off Friars Brae in Linlithgow, cross-section shown below.
Our commercial workload is also headiong back towards pre-recession levels. Projects includ design work for the Port Edgar Marina. Its early days for this scheme but it will create a fantastic facility if it all goes ahead including boat stores, chandleries, a cafe and admin offices.
This month we've completed our first stage of design for the Castlebank Horticultural Centre in Lanark. Copies of the drawings can be found by clicking the image.
Meanwhile our Visitor Facilities at John Muir Country Park in Dunbar have suffered a setback with a devastating arson attack which destroyed the entire superstructure. Reconstruction is under way.
New commissions this month include another new dental practice, involving 5 new consulting rooms and a state-of-the-art local decontamination unit in Falkirk. This will be our 10th dental practice in the past 5 years, with projects spanning the Scottish Central belt including Fife, East Lothian, West Lothian, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Stirling.
They say variety is the spice of life. This month EKJN's new commissions include a marina, a subterranean hotel, a cemetery and an assault course for tanks. Proof, if it were needed, that our team can tackle just about anything!
Images show the McLean House in Edinburgh, currently under construction.
EKJN's proposals for a flatted development in Bo'ness are being considered by Falkirk Council this month.
Meanwhile the McLean House, the Alexander House and the Brodie House are all progressing on site, as are the new Visitor Facilities at John Muir and Yellowcraig country parks in East Lothian. Drawings are also in progress for the Orr House, the Bull House, the Corrie House and the Wyroslawski House. The Fisher House and the McKenzie House are awaiting planning consent, and the McIntyre House is about to start construction.
Our proposals for the refurbishment of the Haugh Gardens Community Centre are also gathering pace with applications pending to a number of community project funding bodies.
New commissions this month include a Horticultural Training Centre in Lanark and a dental practice in Falkirk.
The question all architects dread - "What will it cost to build this?". The simple answer is "Ask a Quantity Surveyor", but that's just ducking the issue....
Figures of £1,000 per square metre or £1,200 per square metre are often thrown around in the construction industry, but such figures should be treated with a JCB's bucket-load of caution, because prices vary widely depending on what you intend to build and where you intend to build it.
Major housebuilders can probably build houses for around £1,350 per square meter these days but that sort of price relies on keeping very tight control of rooms sizes, tight control of specifications and relates to large sites where there are big advantages in bulk-buying and sequential working (ie work-teams moving immediately from one house to the next with minimal down-time). These kind of prices also rely on having easy, level sites and don't include such things as carpets or landscaped gardens.
Individual housebuilders building their own houses will inevitably spend rather more than a major housebuilder's budget because individual houses don't have the benefits of bulk buying or sequential working, and they usually have a host of unique features (what would be the point of designing your own house if it didn't!). They tend to be built on unusual sites too (ditto) and self-build owner-occupiers have a vested interest in using high specifications to achieve low maintenance costs and low running costs, much more so than commercial developers who are building houses for sale in the mass-market.
So private houses for individuals can easily cost £2,000 or £2,500 per square metre in the current market, or significantly more if you want to fit top quality kitchens, top quality bathrooms, heat pumps, photovoltaics, internet cabling, oak floors, triple glazing, etc.....
And then there's VAT to consider. New-build houses (or conversion of non-dwellings into dwellings) attract a zero-rate for VAT, whereas extensions, alterations and improvements to existing houses attract the full 20% VAT. This means it can sometimes be cheaper to knock down an old house and replace it with a new one rather than to renovate/extend it. Strange but true...
In the commercial world, VAT registered businesses don't have to worry about VAT, and they can probably build an industrial storage shed for under £1,000 per square metre, but the sky's the limit for high-specification offices or top-specification restaurant fit-outs. Cost-benefit analysis and business cost-planning is the key here. You have to speculate to accumulate...
Remember though, good design doesn't need to cost more. In fact it can save you money by making sure you're getting the maximum value out of your budget. Ultimately, once a site has been selected, it is the choice of fixtures, fittings and finishes that will have the biggest impact on the cost of any project.
Our latest newsletter is available. Click the 'March 2012' link for details.
EKJN will be relocating to Bryerton House, 129 High Street, Linlithgow EH49 7EJ from 7 March. The phone number, fax number and email addresses will be unchanged. This is an exciting step for the practice giving us better facilities for staff and clients....and a car park for the partners....