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.
RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS (pictured)
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.