Conservation and Restoration of Central Edinburgh Townhouse

Our client purchased a ground and first-floor flat within a Category A-listed building in Edinburgh’s city centre with the hope of restoring the properties and creating one larger family home. The significant property is an original William Playfair design and steeped in history and architectural features.

The flat had been separated from the basement accommodation by a previous owner and neglected for some time. The hope was to restore the interior to its original condition, along with the addition of interventions for modern living, such as the introduction of an ensuite shower room and the re-configuring of the 1970s extension to the rear of the building.

Internally, there was significant reconfiguration; ensuites were created, and spaces were opened up whilst maintaining principal room dimensions to ensure the integrity of the Category A Listing of the property. A previously covered stairwell leading to the basement allowed us to create a unique and indulgent wine cellar.

Bespoke joinery and furniture were made to ensure the refurb was in keeping with the style of the new property design whilst taking into account the original feel and architectural style already in place. Traditional high-level bookcases along with traditional panelled wardrobe doors leading into ensuites complimented the more modern kitchen materials and extension.

The existing extension was particularly unsightly against the backdrop of a beautiful listed building, but it would have been impractical and cost-prohibitive to remove it altogether. The structure let in minimal light, so a new glazed facade was added to the existing frame enabling significant light gain and views out to the garden. A new long strip rooflight was positioned between the existing building and new extension creating a lovely transition between old and new and a much brighter and more welcoming space.

The previous 1970s timber screen at the property’s front door was dark and restricting; Mill replaced this with a traditional yet contemporary glazed screen and door, allowing light to flow from the entrance into the hallway.

During the build of the 1970s extension the stone external wall of the property became internal and was covered over with plasterboard. During the refurb Mill exposed the original stone and restored any defective fabric, providing an overall luxurious rustic feel.

The building is of considerable architectural interest, so great care was required to ensure the local authorities could support the proposals. Specialist trades ensured that a high standard of finish was achieved throughout, which was sympathetic to the historic fabric of the building.

Mill Architects acted as Conservation Architects and Design Team Leaders, coordinating with all trades to hand over a turn-key-ready property to our client.

Client: Private client, Central Edinburgh Townhouse Restoration