Ge­or­gian Re­vival

Hong Kong Tatler Homes - - FRONT PAGE -

In the home they have created in an Ed­in­burgh town­house, Rod­er­ick Mur­ray and his part­ner, Lane Craw­ford’s An­drew Keith, have man­aged to blend her­itage and moder­nity

In the home they have created in an Ed­in­burgh town­house, Rod­er­ick Mur­ray and his part­ner, Lane Craw­ford’s An­drew Keith, have man­aged to blend her­itage and moder­nity. Mur­ray tells Brian Adams how it was done

When Hong Kong­based ar­chi­tect Rod­er­ick Mur­ray and his part­ner, Joyce and Lane Craw­ford pres­i­dent An­drew Keith, set out to pur­chase a prop­erty in their na­tive Scot­land, they had one goal in mind—to cre­ate a home. They found the ideal space, a 200-year-old Ge­or­gian house with a Grade A her­itage list­ing, in Ed­in­burgh’s New Town, a Unesco World Her­itage area.

“We fell in love with the place when we saw it. It’s a grand Ge­or­gian town­house with­out be­ing too grand,” Mur­ray re­calls.

The prop­erty, like many of its kind, had been con­verted into of­fices. How­ever, the orig­i­nal struc­ture and many of its fea­tures, in­clud­ing dec­o­ra­tive plas­ter­work, were pre­served be­hind boards and un­der car­pet­ing.

“They boarded up the floors, boarded over the fire­places, boarded up the doors,” Mur­ray says, “so it was all there. The bones of the place were great. We just had to get in there and make it a home.”

Once they had the prop­erty in hand, Mur­ray and Keith be­gan what would be a two-year jour­ney with lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and His­toric En­vi­ron­ment Scot­land to en­sure all the pa­per­work was ap­proved. Then the cou­ple took over the project man­age­ment du­ties and put their ideas into ac­tion.

“We had to pay re­spect to the Ge­or­gian house it­self, but we wanted it to be a space that we could live in and feel com­fort­able in,” Mur­ray says. That meant buck­ing con­ven­tion and re­ar­rang­ing the lay­out. “In Ed­in­burgh, there’s a plan that ev­ery­one fol­lows. The kitchen and din­ing room are on the ground floor. There’s a draw­ing room to the front and then the bed­rooms are else­where. We didn’t re­ally want that.

We wanted a large lounge kitchen/din­ing space. So the only way we could do that within the plan­ning re­stric­tions was to put it on the first floor.”

Mur­ray’s ap­proach to the lay­out, while seem­ingly un­con­ven­tional, made com­plete sense to him. “A space is a space. Un­til you ac­tu­ally des­ig­nate a func­tion, it could be any­thing. So it’s got huge po­ten­tial. You start thinking of it in terms of home, and what the spa­ces should be.”

Colour was also a cen­tral as­pect of Mur­ray’s de­sign, once again com­bin­ing the cou­ple’s shared ex­pe­ri­ences to make the space into a home. “It came from our trav­els. The sum­mer be­fore, we had been to Italy and Bhutan. In both those places you find shock­ing colour. To be able to use such big colour you need big spa­ces.”

The out­side of the home also re­quired work, in­clud­ing the in­stal­la­tion of dou­ble-glazed win­dows de­signed for Ge­or­gian homes. “The build­ing looked ugly; putting back the orig­i­nal win­dows made a huge dif­fer­ence to the out­side of the build­ing,” Mur­ray says. “It went back to its orig­i­nal look. The old house looked like it had its teeth miss­ing. You put back the win­dows and all of a sud­den it be­came com­plete.”

Mur­ray em­barked on a unique ap­proach to de­sign­ing each room—com­part­men­tal­i­sa­tion. The new walls are short of the five-me­tre ceil­ings, reach­ing only as far as the pic­ture rails and the 200-year-old cre­ative

spa­tial aware­ness The bath­room and kitchen dis­plays Mur­ray and Keith’s keen sense of de­sign and util­ity

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.