News

 

July 21

We are delighted to announce that EKJN Architects has won the award of "Chartered Architects of the Year - Scotland" in the 2021 Build Architecture Awards.

The Build awards, which are in their seventh consecutive year, place an impetus on sustainable and efficient design in modern projects "to recognise those that are pioneers in passive design".

The receipt of this award follows EKJN's recent design and delivery of dozens of sustanability-focussed residential and commercial projects in which we have strived to maximise renewable technologies and sustainable design principles, including our new eco-houses Rèidhlean-Sgoile and Taigh Cùirt-Lios, and our restoration and reimagining of the John Trail Building in Fraserburgh.

The award also follows EKJN's further research work this year in the field of sustainable design, including enhanced staff training and investing in new 3D thermal modelling software to allow us to more accurately analyse the environmental benefits of our designs at Concept stage, providing a sustainability benchmark throughout the delivery of our projects. We are delighted to see our hard work recognised through the receipt of this award.

June 21

This month's excellent weather has coincided nicely with plenty of site inspections as our projects progress on site. This month's image shows once such project in Balerno, which is currently reaching the end of its Snagging period.

The Snagging period represents the time after completion when projects get fully tested throughout the seasons - timber cladding and plasterwork dry out naturally, smart heating systems learn to efficiently meet the needs of the building and users, and we learn how effectively buildings deal with all the weather our climate has to throw at them.

We're delighted with the results on this project, which includes new triple glazing, Siberian Larch cladding and PPC aluminium detailing. We're looking forward to seeing how the Siberian Larch cladding will weather other time - we're expecting a range of results due to the varying levels of shade and solar orientation around this project, which will add extra texture and variety to the elevations in the years to come.

May 21

This month's image shows our design for 'House Thirteen', which was granted planning permission this week. Now we have to decide the best way to build it. It is probably going to be masonry construction with external wall insulation, but we're also considering SIPS (Structural Insulated Panel Systems) or a simple timber framed design. Access to the site isn't easy, there's a 4m slope across the garden and those curved walls will be a challenge, so this one is sure to keep us on our toes....!

April 21

We are delighted that this month's Lockdown easing has allowed businesses and services to open up a little more across the country! For EKJN this means we can finally meet inside people's homes, making it much easier to inspect projects on site and of course to meet homeowners wishing to discuss extensions and alterations to their homes.

All businesses will of course be exceptionally busy as we come out of lockdown (Architects included!), but we are always more than happy to discuss new projects. To celebrate the easing of restrictions we have two images to show you his month:

The first shows our 'Rèidhlean-Sgoile' new-build house under construction, in which we've used an innovative Insulated Concrete Formwork system for the walls to provide exceptional levels of thermal insulation, high construction speed and excellent thermal mass.

The second image shows part of our overhaul and extension of 'Ceilidh House' (designed with an open plan internal layout for the clients' love of ceilidh dancing), and with a contemporary trapezoid fully glazed porch extension - which has been submitted for Planning Permission this month. We just hope that restrictions will be eased enough when the project completes for the clients have the ceilidh party they've been waiting for!

March 21

With lockdown rules continuing EKJN's team are still working from home with just a skeleton crew in the office. We're still keen to see new clients for new projects, but at present we're not allowed inside anyone's house which makes things a little challenging. Like so many people we're hoping for some new announcements from the Government soon which will allow us to start seeing new clients and new projects again. For now all we can do is wait. Oh, and keep working hard on all the projects that we already have in front of us, of course!

This month's photo shows our project Taigh Cùirt-Lios, a new build courtyard-house in St Andrews. This will be the kitchen, with a glass pyramid over the central island and a two-sided fireplace. Looking forward to seeing it completed later in the year.

February 21

Considering a house extension, or a loft conversion? How about both? This project in Edinburgh features a traditional front dormer and a stunning light-filled contemporary rear extension with solar panels, and was submitted for planning permission this week.

The EKJN team have already submitted over a dozen planning applications so far in 2021, for projects across Edinburgh, Fife, Perthshire, Stirling, Falkirk and West Lothian. We can't wait to see these projects (and many more) be realised later in the year.

January 21

Well 2021 has arrived, getting off to a slow start with lockdowns doing what's needed to control the spread of Covid.

The EKJN team are still hard at work, with a skeleton crew doing essential work in the office that has to be done to keep everyone else working productively at home.

For the time being construction sites remain open so EKJN's team are still doing site inspections, certificates and reports, but the lockdown rules currently prevent us from going inside anyone's house other than for essential repairs, so some of our new domestic clients just have to wait for now. We'll pick up when it's safe to do so.

This month's picture shows Rèidhlean-Sgoile, a new low-energy house under construction just outside Edinburgh. The walls will be built using hollow blocks of insulation filled with concrete and the structure will be half-buried into the hillside with a grass roof over the top.

December 20

As 2020 draws to a close we'd like to thank everybody for working with us throughout the year, and we wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

November 20

Planning consent was granted this month for our proposals for the Roundel House in Linlithgow. The house stands on a hill looking out over Linlithgow Loch and towards the Palace. The new owner has decided to make the most of the site by building a double-height glass extension with a glass-balustraded gallery facing the view. It will be a wonderfully dramatic space when it is complete.

Meanwhile our hotel project in Fraserburgh is continuing apace. Structural alterations and repairs to the derelict John Trail building are almost complete and the internal fit-out work will start in January. The image below shows the building next door, formerly Fraserburgh's branch of the Clydesdale Bank. Our hotel project now includes this building too, where we will be making extra bedrooms and extra dining areas and converting the banking hall into a bar. The bar's toilets will be in the bank's strong room. There can't be anywhere better to spend a penny...!

October 20

We are delighted to have had the Building Warrant granted for Gamekeeper's House in Edinburgh. This traditional house has already been fully retrospectively insulated, and the Building Warrant provides a new home office and dramatic Lounge extension featuring an open cathedral ceiling, exposed trusses, a wood burning stove, underfloor heating, sloping rooflights, long slim Velux 'Vario' flat rooflights, and a six-part glazed window/doorset facing onto the rear garden.

The project is one of many EKJN projects to begin construction on site in the new year.

September 20

EKJN's team are continuing to work from home with occasional sorties into the office, doing our best to juggle a huge variety of projects through the chaos caused by C-19. We now have new-build eco-houses under construction in Lasswade and St Andrews, the John Trail Hotel project in Fraserburgh is going strong, and many smaller domestic projects are keeping us busy too.

This month's photos show some details from the Wraparound House in Edinburgh, due to be complete very soon.

August 20

EKJN Architects this month attended the 8th annual Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival. Held on Zoom this year for obvious reasons, the festival is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the city's traditional buildings, and also for further research into the practice of caring for, maintaining and enhancing traditional buildings in the capital city and elsewhere throughout Scotland. Topics this year included roof slating & tiling, timber sash and case windows and traditional property repair.

The Festival comes at a time when EKJN Architects are havily involved in the repair, refurbishment and adaption of traditional properties throughout Scotland. This month's image shows one of our smaller (but no less involved) projects - stone repairs and the re-introduction of traditional cast iron railings to a listed building facing Dunblane Cathedral. This building, like many others all over the country, had it's original railings removed during the second world war for use as scrap metal to help with the war effort (although there's some doubt as to how many such railings were successfully recycled for that use!). By reintroducing railings and repairing the walls to match the materiality, detailing and craftsmanship of the original construction we can improve the character of the street scene while improving the privacy and use of the garden areas for the current building occupants.

July 20

We have been delighted over the past month to have had many of our projects now resume construction after the lockdown, and also to have many more projects now breaking ground on site - EKJN projects are currently under construction in Barnton, Balerno, Merchiston, Linlithgow, Bo'ness, Fraserburgh, Torphichen, and St Andrews in Fife - with many more in the pipeline.

This month's image shows another project at Concept development stage, as EKJN prepare designs and 3D Visualisations for a new eco-home to make the most of modular construction techniques, contemporary detailing and passive design strategies. Such projects provide the potential for much-needed affordable and sustainable housing solutions for diverse sites across the country.

June 20

Lockdown is continuing, but EKJN's team are managing to keep projects moving forward with remote connections to the office, Zoom meetings in our new Zoom-room and all the recommended social-distancing.

Congratulations are due to our Design Director, Scott Wallace, who has achieved his RIAS Accreditation in Architectural Conservation during the lockdown. With Scott and Jon both now Accredited Conservation Architects we're ready to tackle conservation, repair and rehabilitation of historic buildings all over Scotland.

The photo below shows something different. Our project for a new courtyard-house in St Andrews has to begin with the demolition of the wee house currently occupying a small part of the large site. It was a cute little thing, designed by Wheeler and Sproson in 1960. Given a choice we would prefer to reuse and adapt old buildings rather than demolish them, but it had outlived its design-life and the new house, though larger, will be much more energy-efficient, more accessible and more adaptable in the longer term. Sometimes this can be a difficult balance to strike...

May 20

EKJN continue to take on new domestic and commercial projects of all varieties. Whether you are thinking of any kind of extension or alterations to your property then now is the perfect time to plan ahead for the post-lockdown period. Please see the film below for an overview of what we do, and get in touch with us by email or through the contact form on this website to find out how we can help:

April 20

Strange times. A whole month of lockdown, and no end in sight just yet. EKJN's team are still as busy as ever, working from home, using Remote Desktop, Zoom, Facetime and Whatsapp to keep in touch. Planning applications and Building Warrants are still progressing all across Scotland so there's plenty for us to do. However construction sites have been closed in Scotland since the end of March which is frustrating for clients who are languishing with projects that are incomplete. Let us hope that the 'new normal' gets things moving ahead soon.

We're keen to bring on new projects, just as we always are, so please get in touch if there is anything you would like to discuss. Domestic or commercial, small, medium or large, historic buildings, contemporary new-builds, extensions, alterations, sustainable design - just let us know what you're thinking of and we're sure to be able to help.

This month's image shows our Murieston house project, which was granted planning consent this month. We're looking forward to pressing ahead with this after the lockdown ends! Stay safe....

March 20

We live in challenging times. A month ago Brexit was the biggest challenge we had to face. Now COVID-19 is causing immeasurable disruption in all facets of society across the globe and Brexit looks like a tea party by comparison. It is still business as usual at EKJN as far as that's possible, but we are anticipating that a total lock-down will be imposed on us all in the following few days. EKJN's team have the capability to work from home, but we will no longer be able to hold meetings in our office and some of our normal services will be difficult to deliver until government restrictions are eased. The team all have access to emails and mobile phones and we will be pressing ahead with drawing work where we can. This is a fast-changing scenario and we will respond as necessary to keep projects moving forward as much as possible. Please get in touch by email or through the contact form on this website if there is anything you would like to discuss. Let us all hope that things get back on an even keel soon.

This month's image shows our proposals for conservation works to the ruins of Castle Cluggy which sits on the Dry Isle at the edge of Loch Monzievard. If those walls could speak they would tell tales of wars and plagues from times past that might put the current ravages of COVID-19 into context. Food for thought. Keep safe everyone!

February 20

Lots of work in progress this month. House extensions, loft conversions, granny-annexes, historic building repairs, eco-houses, hotels, restaurants, garden-pods, you name it we're on it! This month's image is a new-build low-carbon courtyard house in St Andrews, Fife, just about to be granted Planning Consent.

January 20

Our latest newsletter is available to download. Click the image for full details.

December 19

Happy Christmas!

November 19

This month EKJN are pleased to welcome Architectural Technologist Gavin Williamson to the practice! Gavin will be helping EKJN with our usual range of diverse projects - this month Planning Permission has been granted for a new Cafe in Larbert, an extension to a Blackness cottage, and a Garden Pod in Edinburgh's Inverleith Conservation Area.

A range of EKJN's domestic projects have been progressing at pace on site, including (clockwise below from top left): 'House For Two Trekkers' in Balerno; 'Alcove House' in Winchburgh (completed this month); 'Hawthorns House' in Kilmacolm (also completed this month); 'Wraparound House' in Edinbugh; and 'Court House' in Kirknewton, which is on track for completion before Christmas - which is fast approaching!

October 19

A couple of images of our Village Hall project in Kirkliston, prepared for us by LUMA 3d. Planning consent was granted earlier this year with more than 160 letters of support from local people. Fundraising is ongoing for the next stages. It's a much-needed facility in this growing town, so fingers crossed that the funds continue to come in!

September 19

Most of this month has been taken up with detailed design work for our hotel project in Fraserburgh. It isn't a huge project, just 10 bedrooms and a restaurant, but it is a complicated site, a historic building, and it's on a fast programme so it has been all-hands-to-the-pumps for a week or two. Big thanks to everyone who has been patient with us while we've worked our way through it!

Meanwhile construction work has been steadily progressing on our projects at Tippetknowes, Kirknewton Court and in Merchiston and the flats at Hope Street in Bo'ness are finally complete.

On top of all that we've got plenty more new projects to keep us entertained between now and Christmas. More news of those next month....

August 19

It's been a busy few weeks for us. The Fraserburgh Hotel project has been submitted for Planning and Building Warrant, there's extra work for us at Duntarvie Castle and at Ravelston House Park and new work for us on a shorefront site in Oban.

Other new projects include domestic alterations in South Queensferry, Leith, Musselburgh and Polmont, an upgrade to a Veterinary Practice in Falkirk, and new-build houses in Philpstoun and St Andrews, Fife.

Meanwhile the Wraparound House has started construction, one of half a dozen projects we're currently managing on site in Winchburgh, Kirknewton, Kilmacolm, Morningside and Merchiston.

July 19

We've received the good news this month that our Panmure House project has been shortlisted for the 'AJ Retrofit Awards 2019', competing in the 'Listed Buildings under 5 million' category. The AJ Retrofit Awards programme is one of the most highly regarded in UK architecture and celebrates the design, engineering and construction excellence that prolongs and improves the life of our built world. This shortlisting recognises the successes of the careful conservation and transformation of the historic former-home of Adam Smith into the new flagship headquarters of Edinburgh Business School.

The award ceremony will be in September when the winners will be announced. You can read more by clicking here.

June 19

We had a Royal visitor to our project at Castlebank in Lanark this month. HRH the Duke of Rothesay is here shaking hands with EKJN's MD Jon Newey. The Prince is known for his outspoken views on modern architecture but he seemed impressed with our efforts at Castlebank. The project is all about Architectural Conservation, sustainable design and sustainable horticulture, all subjects to which the Duke likes to lend his support. The Duke planted a tree during his visit and cut the ribbons on some new bee hives.

May 19

Here's a nice photo of Lessendrum, completed at last and looking good. Its not the only project that's been keeping us busy recently. Our proposals for Kirkliston Village Hall have been granted Planning consent, our 'oriel window' project in Kilmacolm is under construction, we've got new domestic projects in Faucheldean and Denny and we're offering help with the CDM regulations for the Beechbrae Wood environmental education centre in Blackridge. Our hotel project in Fraserburgh is progressing, as well as other projects in Lasswade, South Queensferry, Bo'ness, Livingston and Edinburgh. Never a dull moment!

April 19

This month it was great to learn that our project at Castlebank in Lanark came runner up in the Europe-wide Rural Innovations awards this year. The horticultural centre is flourishing since we completed it in November and the whole project is proving immensely popular with the local community. What started life as a sadly neglected and derelict collection of buildings is now the catalyst for a wider regeneration of Castlebank Park. Long may its success continue!

March 19

We like a challenge. The picture this month shows the John Trail bookshop in Fraserburgh. The building has been empty since a fire in 2002 but now the North East Scotland Preservation Trust have purchased it intending to bring it back to life as a hotel. The project will be funded as part of the Fraserburgh 2021 CARS project. It is a complex building with many issues for us to resolve. It will make full use of our Accreditation in Architectural Conservation and our network of expert advisors for this kind of renovation. This is going to be fun!

February 19

We're delighted that our Panmure House project has been shortlisted for this year's RICS regeneration and conservation award. The award ceremony will be in May when the winners will be announced. The project has also been nominated for this year's Edinburgh Architecture Association awards, the AJ retrofit award, and a Museums and Heritage award. You can read more by clicking here.

January 19

Our latest Newsletter is ready. Click on the image to download a pdf copy. Enjoy the read!

December 18

Happy Christmas everyone, and best wishes for 2019!

November 18

This month we had some great photos taken of our Panmure House project by Paul Zanre. See below. We're delighted to have been confirmed at one of the Framework Architects for West Lothian Council for a second 4-year stint. We've got a number of new commissions under way in Linlithgow, South Queensferry, Colinton, and Falkirk. We've submitted a planning application for 3 houses on a site in Grangemouth and another for conversion of a listed hotel into flats in Bo'ness. Plus we've submitted an application for a new restaurant in Edinburgh Old Town. So as long as Brexit doesn't get in the way we'll have a big variety of projects to keep us busy into 2019!

October 18

We've updated our website. Hope you like the changes! Three projects completed this month, Lessendrum (new-build low-carbon house n Linlithgow; photos later), a wine bar on Linlithgow High Street, and our long-running project to refurbish the Old Sawmill at Castlebank Park in Lanark (the 'Bistro' room shown below).

September 18

Plenty to keep our team busy this month. We've submitted a planning application for the new Kirkliston Village Hall (image below), made a start on some preliminary designs for a hall for the South Queensferry Sea Scouts (bottom image), received planning consent for alterations to Vellore House, submitted an application for permission for some camping pods at Duntarvie Castle, received planning consent for a 2-storey conversion to a house in the Ravelston area of Edinburgh and started design work on new projects in Kirknewton, Winchburgh, West Calder and Bathgate. All that as well as working towards completion of ongoing projects in Morningside, Lanark and Linlithgow.

August 18

The Old Sawmill, Castlebank, Lanark: Not quite complete yet, but getting there. Quite a transformation.

July 18

This month has mostly been dominated by the completion of Panmure House, the project we've been working on since Edinburgh Business School purchased the Grade A listed building in 2008. The former home of renowned philosopher and economist Adam Smith, Panmure House is now a high-quality venue in the heart of Edinburgh dedicated to the study of economics.

The two main conference rooms are lined with tulipwood panelling, behind which is concealed the very latest AV and IT equipment. The central stair is a 'pencheck' structure made with interlocking hand-carved stone treads, and the building now incorporates the very best catering facilities, lifts, heat-cool systems etc that should be expected of a modern conference venue. More photos when we get them....!

June 18

Finally got some good photos of the Executive House in Linlithgow, which was finished in the spring. Nice project, full of interesting features. There's a big glazed rooflight over the dining table, a fabulous open-plan living/dining/kitchen and the floor-to-ceiling glazing all folds back to open the house up fully to the freshly landscaped garden. Bobin Developments were the contractors. Photos by Images Above.

May 18

The PV panels are on the roof at the Old Sawmill in Lanark, ready for the Penrhyn slates to go back on. Historic roof timbers and brick arches have been repaired/restored, reclaimed terracotta finial ridges are sitting ready for installation and new steel-framed windows are due on site shortly. Aiming for a finish in July and a grand opening in August.

April 18

Two interesting images to show this month. First, our project at Ethel Terrace in Morningside, rising up out of the ground...

...and second a project on the shores of Loch Ken where our plucky client is hoping to build an autonomous eco-house, making use of our expertise as sustainable building designers.

March 18

There are lot of things on the go here at the moment. Lessendrum House is still under construction (image below), refurbishment of the Old Sawmill in Lanark is on site and construction work continues at St Mungo's in Alloa and at Panmure House in Edinburgh.

Listed Building Consent has been granted for conversion of an outhouse at Vellore House, and planning consent has been granted for a marquee at Duntarvie Castle and an extension to a house on Hugh Russell Place in Queensferry.

Plus we've submitted planning applications for projects in Stoneyburn, Edinburgh and Falkirk and have tendered for some exciting projects in North Berwick and Glenrothes, Fife. Plenty to keep us out of mischief!

February 18

Planning permission and Building Warrant granted this month for a small wine bar on Linlithgow High Street - image below. Meanwhile work continues on site at Lessendrum, Panmure House and St Mungo's church, weather permitting!

January 18

Happy New Year to all. Nice to have been invited this month to submit proposals for a community centre project in Dunblane and for a church renovation project in Glenrothes, Fife. Meanwhile planning consent has been granted for the Crewes House in Linlithgow Bridge.

December 17

A nice early Christmas present : Jon has been awarded the RIAS Accreditation in Conservation Architecture in recognition of his work over the past decade on projects including Panmure House, St Mungo's church, Castlebank sawmill and Vellore House.

The certificate now sits alongside the accreditation for Sustainable Building Design that Jon received earlier in the year, making him one of only a handful of Architects (8 at the last count) to achieve both accreditations in their careers.

Wishing all our friends, clients, associates and consultants a very Happy Christmas and a New Year full of vitality!

November 17

Its always nice to get positive feedback like this:

"Jon delivered an extension and renovation that has transformed our home and created a stand out property, combining contemporary design with the planning restrictions in what is effectively a preservation area. His guidance and management of the project from design to completion was excellent. He kept the project within budget and minimised the upheaval for my family. I recommend EKJN unreservedly".

See more on our Reviews page.

October 17

Our latest Newsletter is ready. Click on the image to download a pdf copy. Enjoy the read!

September 17

A quick round-up of what we're currently involved with:

Projects currently under construction include Panmure House in Edinburgh, St Mungo's church renovations in Alloa, 6 flats in Hope Street in Bo'ness, 3 holiday cottages in Oban, the Hogarth-Westbrook House in Linlithgow, and domestic alterations at Friars Way, Inverlieth Place, Grange View, Hillpark, Braehead Road in Bo'ness, Cottalside in Torphichen and Whiteside Farm in Bathgate.

We've got planning applications running for a wine bar in Linlithgow, further alterations to Duntarvie Castle and projects at Mains Road Linlithgow Bridge, Duchal Road in Kilmacolm, Vellore House in Falkirk and Burgon House in London.

And we've got technical drawings under way for Kirkliston Village Hall, a 48-bed hostel at Gowanbank in Ayrshire, Castlebank Horticultural Centre in Lanark, Baron's Hill Cottage in Linlithgow and the Castlehill Weaving Centre on the Royal Mile. Hence the need for us to recruit more architects and technicians this month!

The photo shows the new oak trusses at the Bourne House receiving their final coat of oil. Everything you see here is new construction, purpose-designed and lovingly crafted....

August 17

Congratulations go to Scott Wallace, not just for becoming a Director last month but for becoming a Dad for the first time this month! Life will never be the same again!

Meanwhile we've been finishing off a few interesting projects such as the Williamson House and the Watkins House, both pictured below.

July 17

Great news from the EKJN team! This month our Practice Manager, Fiona Runciman, and Chartered Architect, Scott Wallace, have both joined the board of Directors. Fiona will be taking the role of Finance Director and Scott the role of Design Director. Both will work alongside Jon to help manage the continued growth of the practice.

These are exciting times for EKJN, with projects in London, Edinburgh, Argyle and Bute, Inverclyde, Lanark and East Ayrshire ranging in construction value from just a few thousand pounds up to several million.

May - June 17

We are delighted to announce that Jon Newey has been awarded the RIAS Accreditation in Sustainable Design, joining a select band of only 30 Architects to achieve the accreditation. Jon is a member of the Centre for Alternative Technology and the Eden Project and has experience of designing low carbon buildings which use ground-source heat-pumps, photovoltaic panels, solar thermal panels, biomass boilers, passive cooling and passive ventilation systems and rainwater harvesting.

April 17

As part of our business-growth strategy following Ed's retirement last month, EKJN is making the leap from Partnership to Limited Company at the end of April, with Jon Newey in the role of Managing Director.

With projects as far north as Oban, as far south as London and covering the width of Scotland from Lanark to Peaston we've got a bigger geographical coverage than ever before, and the usual eclectic variety of projects continues!

Vellore House, Falkirk

 

March 17

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.

February 17

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.

January 17

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.

December 16

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.

November 16

Our Autumn 2016 newsletter is available to download. Click the image for full details.

Oct 16

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!

Sept 16

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).....

August 16

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.

July 16

All's well......

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.

June 16

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!

June 16

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.

May 16

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.

April 16

Congratulations to Architect Scott Wallace who married his fiance Isla in Anstruther in Fife 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.

March 16

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.

February 16

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 16

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!

December 15

Wishing all our friends a happy, prosperous, spacious, warm, secure, low maintenance, eco-friendly, well-conserved and architecturally interesting New Year!

November 15

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....).

October 15

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]

September 15

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.

July-Aug 15

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....!

June 15

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.

May 15

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....

April 15

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....

March 15

Ed, when I said it was time for us to upgrade our Windows that's not quite what I meant....

February 15

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!

January 15

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'.

December 14

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!

November 14

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.

October 14

EKJN 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.

September 14

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.

August 14

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.

July 14

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.

June 14

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.

May 14

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.

April 14

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 in Fife, and domestic projects in Blackness, Torphichen, Linlithgow, and Edinburgh.

Onward and upward!

 

March 14

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.

February 14

Our Spring 2014 newsletter is available to download. Click the image for full details.

January 14

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.

December 13

Happy Christmas One and All, and best wishes for 2014.

November 13

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.

October 13

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.

September 13

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!

August 13

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 mail@ekjn.co.uk

 

July 13

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.

June 13

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.

May 13

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.

April 13

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.

March 13

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.

February 13

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!

January 13

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!

December 12

Happy Christmas!

November 12

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.

October 12

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.

 

September 12

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.

August 12

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.

July 12

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.

June 12

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.

May 12

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.

April 12

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.

March 12

Our latest newsletter is available. Click the 'March 2012' link for details.

February 12

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....

 

EKJN Architects
Bryerton House, 129 High Street
Linlithgow, West Lothian, EH49 7EJ

Wester House, Main Street
North Queensferry, Inverkeithing, Fife, KY11 1JG

T: 01506 847151
e: mail@ekjn.co.uk
w: www.ekjn.co.uk