Stu­dio LBA


When Lyn­say Bell Man­son started her one-woman prac­tice in 2012, she had no idea that in the short space of six years, the firm would have ex­panded into a ded­i­cated team of 13 de­sign­ers and of­fice sup­port staff. Grounded by their core val­ues of cre­ativ­ity, fam­ily and trust, LBA has be­come a band of mak­ers – cu­ri­ous, in­dus­tri­ous and ex­per­i­men­tal. They are mak­ing to­day what they be­lieve will in­spire and con­nect peo­ple to­mor­row.

‘Our ap­proach to ev­ery project is open, in­no­va­tive and chal­leng­ing,’ says Lyn­say Bell Man­son, ‘We strive to cre­ate dis­tinc­tive, unique de­signs that un­lock the full po­ten­tial of our client’s vi­sion.’

Skilled in con­tem­po­rary new-builds as well as sen­si­tive con­ver­sions/ ren­o­va­tions of listed and his­toric build­ings, the prac­tice has an un­canny abil­ity to see po­ten­tial in any project pre­sented to them. Their lat­est project, Lib­er­ton Barns, with lead­ing Ed­in­burgh de­vel­op­ers Glen­cairn Prop­er­ties trans­formed a site that used to house a derelict agri­cul­tural shed into a lux­ury de­vel­op­ment with a charm­ing ru­ral feel. Lo­cated in Lib­er­ton and over-look­ing open fields to­wards the Royal Ob­ser­va­tory and Lib­er­ton Tower the de­vel­op­ment, Lib­er­ton Barns mim­ics the old agri­cul­tural shed in terms of mass­ing, form and ma­te­ri­als to pro­vide three open-plan con­tem­po­rary two-storey town­houses.

The rub­ble stone wall which wrapped two sides of the derelict shed was key in defin­ing the new build­ings floor plate and site edge. The orig­i­nal stone has been re-used and in­cor­po­rated into the de­sign of the de­vel­op­ment, adding a key vis­ual fea­ture to the de­sign. Yet, what is re­ally unique about this de­sign is the slat­ted tim­ber cladding that en­cases the build­ing. It wraps both solid and voids. The spac­ing of the cladding-over the win­dows and open­ings al­lows glimpses of light and move­ment to re­veal sub­tle hints of what is con­cealed within. The tim­ber will ‘sil­ver’ over time, again adding to the ru­ral feel of the town­houses.

The in­ter­nal de­sign of the town­houses is con­tem­po­rary and in­no­va­tively fo­cused around a cen­tral fully glazed ex­ter­nal void court­yard. A cut out in the roof al­lows nat­u­ral light and ven­ti­la­tion to per­me­ate the core of the build­ing. For LBA, bring­ing an abun­dance of nat­u­ral light into the town­houses was cru­cial to the suc­cess of the de­sign to these nar­row floor plates.

The first floor show­cases the open plan liv­ing and din­ing area’s ex­pan­sive views. The im­pres­sive vaulted ceil­ings lead to a large ex­ter­nal par­tially cov­ered ter­race with a frame­less glass balustrade. The open­ing in the par­tially cov­ered ter­race cap­tures the sun dur­ing the day whilst also al­low­ing for a shel­tered area to dine in the even­ing whilst en­joy­ing the views over the field to­wards the set­ting sun.


1. View of din­ing area through the void court­yard to the kitchen.

2. View of the ter­races of the town­houses from the open field be­hind the de­vel­op­ment.

3. Master bed­room in Lib­er­ton Barns with a view over the open fields to­wards the Royal Ob­ser­va­tory and Lib­er­ton Tower.

4. Slat­ted tim­ber cladding en­cases the town­houses.

5. View of open plan liv­ing and din­ing ar­eas ex­pan­sive view.

6. Woodhall Drive, win­ning de­sign at the Scot­tish Home Awards: In­no­va­tion in De­sign.

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