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HESTIA vol 2 | winter 19

A publication by LBA


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HESTIA | Vol 2

I’m delighted to have come on board with LBA this year and to have been given the opportunity to put together Hestia - hopefully my first of many! For volume 2 we wanted to shine a spotlight on some of our favourite local designers and successful collaborations, as well as showcasing some of our personal and professional projects over 2019. This year we welcomed Lynsay and Jeff’s baby boy Howie, plus 6 new team members. We celebrated two weddings and three 40th birthdays. We waved Tom off on the trip of a lifetime, plugging the gap with a 3/4 size cardboard cutout. We ate our weight in cake and learned to waterski to burn it off. Projects came to a close - seafront apartments at Westgate moved in tenants, CoDE Pod Hostel at Parliament Square welcomed guests in time for the Fringe and 4-6 Melville St transformed from a stripped back shell to west-end luxury. I’m very proud to say that we have raised funds through advertising within this issue for SEAMAB, an inspiring charity which provides specialist care and education to vulnerable children.

Kirsty Brannagan | Editor

As the year comes to a close we delight in good news of successful tenders, award nominations and new collaborations. We can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!

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6. Annual Reflections with Lynsay 8. Buccleuch Challenge + SEAMAB 12. Westgate 17. Feeling the Heat with Bonk Stoves 21. Imagine If 26. Parliament Square 30. The Eco Tourist 34. 4-6 Melville St 39. Luxury bathrooms with Victor Paris

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42. Spoilt for Choice with Strathearn 47. Williamstone hits screens 48. Retail Therapy at Strathberry 52. Hands on with Cupa 56. Going Silver with Russwood 59. Belgrave Mews 62. Cultured 64. Fresh Talent 66. The Drawing Board

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33 A publication by LBA 18 Walker St, Edinburgh, EH3 7LP

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THE ART OF LETTING GO with Lynsay Bell Manson

For me 2019 was defined by the birth of our son, Howie, who we welcomed to the world in April. Funnily enough it was the same day that the building contractors turned up to start works on our new house, all impeccably timed! My maternity leave was less lattes and cupcakes and more ‘builders tea’ and tunnocks tea cakes. Nevertheless, my 6 months off has been an incredible experience both personally and for the business.

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Being solely focused on the business for the past 8 years the prospect of leaving LBA for any length of time was terrifying……‘how on earth will they cope without me?’ I look back on this and chuckle as the reality of my absence was very different. On my return the studio environment was relaxed and had a real sense of calm, the team had bonded on a deeper level, everyone seemed fulfilled and happy. Giving the team the space to make their own decisions, take more

responsibility and do their jobs has allowed them to thrive and grow. No more micro-managing has also allowed me to regain control of the business and shed the worries that I had created in my head but actually didn’t exist. By letting go, I have more time and space to be creative, deal with issues effectively, have fun and plan ahead. I have also gained a sense of clarity and perspective, allowing me to approach situations with a stronger mindset.

“What would happen if we viewed maternity and paternity leave as an amazing opportunity for personal development...”

I appreciate covering maternity leave can be difficult for some businesses, however I am always amazed at how negatively this is perceived. Are mothers less committed to their careers or less competent if they take time off, or, are they less caring parents by not taking time off? What would happen if we viewed maternity and paternity leave as an amazing opportunity for personal development, similar to that of a sabbatical which of course conjures up feelings of adventure and discovery. What could be more special and transformational than bonding with your new baby and

why isn’t this celebrated more? In our profession, staff are consistently expected to be flexible; working later and longer. There needs to be more consideration towards offering staff back that flexibility, empowering and supporting mums and dads to be parents whilst still able to carry out their profession. So what does 2020 have in store for me? I want to be a more understanding, effective and inspiring leader to our amazing team and sharing my life with baby Howie has definitely set me on the right path towards achieving this!

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CHALLENGE

ACCEPTED The Buccleuch Challenge


This year our bravest team members competed in the Buccleuch Challenge, taking on over 6 hours of running, mountain biking, river swimming, maggot eating and quad biking, among other activities! We love a challenge here at LBA, priding ourselves on being quite a fit bunch, but one of the biggest draws was the amazing cause the event contributed towards – SEAMAB. SEAMAB is a charitable organisation in rural central Scotland, which provides specialised care and education to vulnerable children.


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In a moment of bravery Sami, Mark and Clare entered a team for the 2019 Buccleuch Challenge, having very little idea what the course would entail. The website revealed minor details; a 45km course with a mixture of challenges, including the need for mountain bike hire, with fastest teams were expected to finish in 4-5 hours and slower in 8 hours. Not knowing what to train for, the team committed to weekly 5km runs and not much else! With a very extensive kit list gathered, the team set off at 5.30am on a damp Friday in September, raring to go. Upon arriving, the “fun, easygoing” event the team had convinced themselves it would be seemed to have been interpreted by others as pretty serious and requiring lots of preparation.

Mountain biking; definitely the toughest challenge but would incur a 3 hour penalty if missed, and we don’t hire quitters! Mountain biking up a never-ending steep hill, which was so tough that most ended up pushing their bikes, then cycling down the other side. Swimming; jumping into a (tropical Scottish) flowing river and swimming out to check in at a rock. Paddle boarding: the most relaxing, if not a little unstable, challenge. The team saved this for last, before a final cycle sprint uphill to the finish line at Drumlanrig Castle. Although not fully prepared for what was to come, Team LBA took on the challenge like champs, coming 7th out of 42 teams. The challenge raised £12,900 for Seamab.

Team LBA were handed a list of checkpoints with a map and had to plan the most efficient route around the course. With an electronic checkpoint at every challenge, skipping any would incur a 20 to 40 minute time penalty based on complexity. The challenges included: A bush tucker trial; a plate each of maggots, crickets, chillis, pickled eggs and miscellaneous fishy pieces. The team had to finish everything.

Advertising proceeds from this issue of Hestia will be matched by LBA and donated towards an element of the new Seamab school. We would like to focus our contribution on wellness and the arts, and as proposals develop we will have a clearer idea of where the funding can be put to best use. 11 | hestia


WESTGATE Luxury coastal living

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Completed this summer, Westgate saw the derelict Blenheim House Hotel on North Berwick’s waterfront returned to its intended luxury. Working with a private developer, a scheme was developed to restore the derelict and vandalised B Listed Italianate villa, introducing contemporary extensions to allow for 4 generous 3-bedroom apartments. Key to the conversion of an iconic historic building at the focal point of North Berwick’s waterfront, was a sensitive and well-considered conservation strategy. Restoring the building’s original grandeur was key to the success of the project. Non-original elements with no architectural merit were removed, including a dilapidated extension to the rear and a boarded up sun lounge. Modern and poorly considered internal partitions

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were removed, returning rooms to their original proportions and restoring interrupted cornicing. Original sash and case windows were restored and draft proofed. With an ambitious client, a demanding housing market and our endless desire to design, the decision was taken to make our own mark in the building’s timeline – introducing contrasting extensions. Timber cladding, sleek lines and ample glazing ensure that the additions avoid a pastiche mimicking of the original form, which represents design intentions and construction techniques of the period. Instead, the extensions are clearly marked as contemporary additions, with silvering timber and glazing reflecting the surroundings to ensure a subtle impact on the elevations. Two of the apartments are wholly located within the existing listed building, and two benefit from a historic and new element. The four apartments benefit from bright open plan kitchen/living areas, luxury bathrooms with underfloor heating, original cornicing and generous storage. Ornate original bays and modern floor to ceiling windows frame jaw dropping uninterrupted sea views over the bay and Bass Rock, allowing occupiers to connect with the ever-changing Scottish weather.

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Mihaus provide a complete kitchen, bathroom and flooring solution, bringing together a range of suppliers with a proven track record of quality, elegance and precision.

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Belgrave Place, Edinburgh | Photography by Douglas Gibb

FEELING THE HEAT with Bonk & Co

An efficient central heating system and the luxury of feet warmed by underfloor heating will definitely keep you cosy through the winter, but nothing compares to curling up by the hypnotising glow of a woodburning stove. Not only do stoves serve as a focal point for the room - (rather than a big flatscreen TV!) they’re extremely efficient at heating a room. An open fire loses up to 90% of its heat to the chimney, whereas a stove feeds most of its heat into the room, with less than 25% lost. 17 | hestia


Williamstone Farm Steadings | Photography by Douglas Gibb

Bonk & Co stock over 70 stoves, and with a wealth of choice, settling on a single stove can be a little daunting. With some key points to get started and Bonk & Co’s expert advice, the process can be a very enjoyable one! The best starting point is to assess which type of fuel is available to you. If you have an existing chimney or flue, you can go down the traditional woodburning route - if not, a gas or electric stove can provide a flame effect and heat without the mess or need for fuel storage. However, you don’t necessarily need an existing chimney to fit a traditional wood burning stove. A contemporary steel chimney system can be fitted, like at Williamstone Farm Steadings, allowing for great flexibility of placement. If you’re set on burning wood, check with the team if a steel chimney could be compatible with your house. Once fuel type has been narrowed down, you can focus on the aesthetic you’d like to achieve. If you’re living in a cosy traditional cottage, look for a classic cast iron floor standing stove with smaller glazed doors and take advantage of your existing chimney.

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Dressing a contemporary home? Take a look at Bellfires for a sleek double sided modern stove to divide an open plan space. If you’re working on a contemporary interior to a period building, it’s worth looking at Barbas Box stoves - which come in a traditional form but with clean sleek lines. Opt for a model with built in log storage for an eye catching addition. Alternatively, go for a modernist Stuv gas fire against a neutral Scandinavian-inspired interior palette, like at Belgrave Place.

Orwell Farmhouse

With fuel type and desired aesthetic decided, it’s time to find the right size of stove or fire for your space. Bonk & Co will be able to guide you through this, but for early window shopping, work out the cubic metre capacity of the room and divide it by 15 (20 if your home is very well insulated). The number you land on should give you an idea of the kW output you should be shopping for.

‘It is never too early to utilise Bonk & Co’s expertise in terms of design, specifications and technical input. We recently installed two new wood burning stoves within existing fireplaces and Bonk supported us from design stage through to installation. The finished results are fantastic, we created a very contemporary feel in the family room by using a minimal steel trim, concrete effect tiles and a sharp slate hearth. In the snug we opted for a contemporary take on a traditional fireplace by designing a minimal limestone fire surround and hearth.’ Lynsay Bell Manson, LBA

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Contemporary and traditional wood burning stoves and gas fires b on k a ndc o.c om


IMAGINE IF


Our budding graduates Chiara and Clare spent 2019 collaborating with friends to design an interactive exhibition which became part of this year’s ArchiFringe programme, in response to the theme “In Real Life”. Here’s what they’ve been up to!

Collectively we are driven by the desire to improve the standard of housing and make it more sustainable; socially, financially & environmentally. We have observed the growth of two extremes of housing currently on the market, mass volume house building & cohousing. Our research begins to explore if there is a demand for a hybrid solution; A housing type that has some of the social and environmental benefits of cohousing but is

more accessible, less committal and easier to roll out on a larger scale. Our main body of research to date comes from an interactive exhibition we organised during the Architecture Fringe 2019. The goal for the exhibition was to put the say back in the end users hands and talk with members of the public one on one. We designed the exhibition to be interactive, encouraging members of the public to think differently about their current living situations and raise awareness of how housing could be improved in the future. Through a series of light-hearted activities people were challenged to consider what they could get if they were willing to compromise. The exhibition began by getting people to take part in a quiz, asking them questions about their current living situation such as; do you own your home, how well do you know your neighbours and how close to local amenities do you live. The quiz helped to identify what types of housing people might be compatible with, whether

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that is independent, hybrid or communal. Following the quiz visitors then participated in a game of compromise which challenged them to think about what their priorities are within the home and what spaces they are willing to compromise on. Depending on the level of compromise the player is then rewarded by being able to gain access to shared facilities which wouldn’t be otherwise be available independently. The more

people are willing to compromise the more choices they have. Hosting the exhibition was a hugely rewarding experience particularly engaging with people we might not have otherwise crossed paths with. It was encouraging to see people who were initially skeptical of the concept come around and be excited about the potential benefits of shared resources.

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Contemporary European interiors in the heart of Edinburgh. Representing over 70 European brands, our friendly, professional staff can take you from design through to delivery & installation.

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A NIGHT IN THE

CELLS 1A Parliament Sq, Edinburgh LBA has partnered with Code, a unique hotel brand, to convert 1A Parliament Square from a former courthouse building into a unique, boutique hostel in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. The A-Listed building was originally designed as police chambers and accommodated holding cells and courtroom facilities. Although subject to internal modification and modernisation during its history, the original use pattern and room proportions largely remain intact. For this reason, room types within the building range from very small vaulted rooms with little natural light (original cells) to large congregating spaces (original courtrooms and entrance foyer).

Shared accommodation with pod beds

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Spend a night in the cells


From a conservation approach, the intent was to preserve and enhance the existing character of the building. Lost features have been restored; the original historic entrance door has been recreated and the large original entrance hall restored to its original proportions to welcome guests from Parliament Sq. Blocked up windows have been reinstated and external fabric repairs traditionally detailed. Internally, later additions have been removed and the interior stripped back to its original finishing; graffiti and other original wall markings retained to enhance the experience of the “ex-courthouse” concept. New work is purposefully modern to contrast against the historic fabric.

Private en-suite cells

Vaulted cells are retained, allowing guests to experience spending the night in what was once a holding cell in a police chamber. Heavy duty stainless steel doors in the hallways remain in place, accented by lighting and contrasting against dark walls. Bedrooms are playfully titled “cells” and are accessed via industrial “hand wheel” handles. Public spaces like the entrance foyer and breakfast room utilise the original courtroom bench 27 | hestia


Image courtesy of CoDE

seating, with wall panelling adding to the aesthetic. The entrance foyer boasts an inmate wall, with photos of some of the building’s most notorious past prisoners.

The prison/courthouse experience is limited to visual concepts, and in fact guests benefit from a luxury hostel experience, with sleek and modern bathroom facilities. The Pod beds offer comfortable and private accommodation, each unit equipped with adjustable lighting and with a secure locker for baggage. The hostel opened its doors to the public at the beginning of August this year, offering sleeping accommodation for over 200 guests, including within the original courtroom. The Code modular sleeping system has been utilised in various configurations to inhabit the existing rooms, including within the original courtroom, providing unique and affordable city centre accommodation for single visitors, couples and groups. 28 | he s t i a


Arriving in Istanbul

THE ECO TOURIST with T om Duffin

In July 2019 I left LBA and set off on my bike across Europe. My plan was to cycle from my front door to the edge of Asia at the Bosphorus in Istanbul. I cheated a little on cycling the whole way - initially taking the train to Newcastle to catch my ferry to the Netherlands. After months of thinking about it and obsessively packing my bike in preparation, I rolled off the ferry and into mainland Europe. My plan was to follow the Rhine down to the Alps, cross the mountains and head down through the Balkan countries towards Turkey.

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I carried everything I needed with me. I had my tent, everything I needed to cook and eat, a few spare clothes and tools and that was about it. My bike weighed in at about 45-50kgs including food and water which took a while to get used to. Luckily to start with my route was pretty flat. I crossed the Netherlands via Amsterdam and Utrecht towards the Rhine and Germany. I crossed my first border in a small town the Schengen zone meaning I wouldn’t really need to cross any borders until I left Europe.


I headed east, crossing remote hills with large wildfires burning. I camped by little chapels and slept under the stars. Through the hills I crossed into Bulgaria, braving a long climb up to the stunning Rila monastery. I met my partner in Sofia and together we took on the last leg across Bulgaria and into Turkey, via Greece. Cultures had been changing all along my route. From western Europe into south east where mosques broadcast the call to prayer several times a day. The change when entering Turkey though was much more stark. Huge mosques towered over the towns and the traffic became even more crazy. The people were incredibly helpful and friendly, and couldn’t believe we had cycled all the way to Turkey.

After a week’s break, I headed south to the Croatian coast, hopping between islands and eventually crossing inland to Bosnia. My route took me through remote mountains, through Montenegro and into Albania. I left the coast for good at this point and travelled into Kosovo, then south into Macedonia where I allowed myself a few days of relaxing, enjoying some time at Lake Ohrid.

We arrived at the shores of the Bosphorus and climbed up the short last hill to the high point in the centre of the old town. Here stand two of Istanbul’s most iconic buildings, the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque. This was the end point, the last bit of Europe, across the water was Asia.

Wild camping in Macedonia

I followed the Rhine through Germany, fighting through the hottest heatwave in years. I took a train to the edge of the alps and worked my way up into the mountains towards Austria and Italy, aiming for Slovenia. I planned to take some time off of cycling whilst helping to renovate my friend’s Slovenian farmhouse. At the border I crossed over a high pass and flew down into beautiful evening sunshine between huge mountains. I love Slovenia and planned to loop the mountains before finally settling with friends. For 6 days I climbed and descended, camped by rivers and marvelled at the stunning scenery. Once settled in my friend’s tiny village, we drug trenches and laid water pipes, built window frames and laid flooring.


Accursed Mountains, Albania

I cycled 4,300km through 12 countries in 3 months. I climbed through the Alps and the Accursed Mountains in Albania, crossed lonely wild mountain valleys in Bosnia, avoided wildfires in Macedonia, swam in countless lakes and rivers, partied with Italians in little villages and watched a bike race in Germany. I was caught in the wildest thunder storms, sweated more than I ever have before, collapsed off my bike exhausted after a long day (but recovered as I put my tent up), got chased by wild dogs, nearly killed by huge trucks, took wrong turns and got lost, then found my way again. I took dirt roads uphill and incredible smooth tarmac downhill. I loved every second of it and I didn’t even get one puncture. 32 | he s t i a


Arusha Gallery is a contemporary art gallery with its main premises in Edinburgh’s historic New Town. Opening in 2013, Arusha runs an annual programme of exhibitions, events and fairs, both nationally and internationally, with regular collaborations with guest artists,curators, festivals and institutions.

ar ushag alle r y . c o m

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four to six

Melville 34 | he s t i a

STREET


Visuals by Silk Road

Originally built in 1823, 4-6 Melville Street comprises 2 4-storey Georgian townhouses in Edinburgh’s West End. LBA have teamed up with neighbours and luxury developers Square and Crescent to convert the townhouses into 6 luxury apartments, with accommodation ranging from 1 to 4 bedroom.

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Latterly used as office space, the A-Listed townhouses required initial stripping back to remove later additions required for commercial use. Non-original partitions and lowered ceilings were removed, returning the principal rooms to their original grandeur. The impressive floor-to-ceiling sash and case windows were overhauled and draughtproofed, their impact dominating the principal rooms and keeping inhabitants in touch with whatever the Scottish weather may bring. Existing window openings to the rear elevation have been extended to allow for French double doors with new frameless glass barriers installed to allow residents to open up the kitchen spaces, flooding light into the contemporary kitchens. Apartments No.4 and No.6 stretch to the second floor, enjoying beautiful light through large rooflights and a 36 | he s t i a


magnificent cupola central to the original winding staircase. The two-bedroom apartment at lower ground floor level benefits from additional space provided by a contemporary single-storey zinc-clad extension, with flat zinc roof and rooflight, allowing light to flood through the kitchen. The six apartments boast large open-plan kitchen and living spaces, with sleek kitchen fittings neutrally coloured, providing a subtle impact within the principal rooms. DĂŠcor remains neutral throughout the apartments, allowing original cornicing and grand proportions to dictate the aesthetic. Master suites are punctuated by bespoke dressing room furniture, leading through to luxury ensuite bathrooms.


Renowned for quality, innovation and design, Victor Paris is one of the UK’s leading bathroom and tile specialists, providing an extensive range of luxury products at affordable prices.

v ic t or pa r i s .c om

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LUXURY BATHROOMS w i t h Vi c to r Par i s

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4-6 Melville St

Victor Paris has become a household name at LBA, regularly providing stunning bathrooms on our projects. With each hugely different, we take a look back at some of our favourites, and how we worked with Victor Paris to make those all important decisions. Showers The showers at Melville St in particular are a huge selling point. If you can afford the space – go for a double shower. We love to combine a rainfall head with a separate handheld shower for some flexibility. Also, we highly recommend designing in product recesses to avoid unsightly attachments to your lovely tiles or bottles on the floor. Baths If you’ve got space for a bath, lucky you! Baths can really set the tone – if you’re going for a more traditional interior, a roll top bath with claw feet looks fantastic. At Belgrave Place freestanding tub – however, there are plenty of options for space saving too! If you really want a treat, Victor Paris also stock spa baths… Belgrave Place | Douglas Gibb Photography

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Vanity If you’re in a smaller bathroom, a wall hung sink is perfect for some space saving, but where you need some storage for regular use, you can’t beat a nice vanity. For a traditional bathroom, go for a sunken basin with counter mounted taps – or if it suits your contemporary interior, an above counter basin with wall mounted taps can look fantastic. We were extremely lucky at London Street to have space for a double vanity in the master suite, with above counter sinks. WC

London Street

Not usually top of the bathroom wish list, there’s actually lots to consider and so many options when it comes to WCs. Close coupled WCs are the traditional choice, and these can vary from the “heritage style” Burlington range to super sleek Duravit. For space saving, look into modern back to wall WCs, which can be floor standing or wall mounted, like at Belgrave Mews – easier for cleaning around! Generally you’re best to start with baths and basins you like best and work back to a WC which will complement these best.

Belgrave Mews

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SPOILT FOR CHOICE with Strathe ar n

We caught up with Sarah from Strathearn Stone and Timber for an insight into navigating the daunting world of home renovations and choosing the right natural flooring for your space. Strathearn started out almost 20 years ago as the byproduct of our own successful home renovation. That personal experience has given us a unique perspective on what drives customers undergoing self-build or renovation projects. We understand projects are more often than not labours of love with a powerful emotional 42 | he s t i a


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investment and usually more than a hint of perfectionism in the mix. In the early days we were literally a cottage industry, doing everything from our beautifully floored home. Today we offer Scotland’s largest selection of oak flooring, natural stone and porcelain tiles, on display in two central Scotland showrooms. And over the past two decades we are proud to have built an exceptionally skilled sales and installation team. We believe our people are the most valuable Strathearn asset and our long tradition of working together as a caring and creative team produces outstanding results. We understand too the importance of working seamlessly with other professionals such as architects, interior designers and building contractors, to ensure that every floor is perfect and perfectly installed. This year, we have been lucky enough to be involved in two, rather special, projects with the LBA team: Beech Hill, East Lothian and Orwell Farm, near Kinross. These projects are both stunning period family homes surrounded by breath-taking views. The overall design approach to both projects was to embrace the original features of the homes and to capitalise on the views, while introducing exciting contemporary elements. When it came to choosing their flooring, not only were both clients looking for something beautiful and sympathetic to the re-design, they also wanted to make sure their choice was practical too. The marrying of beauty and practicality is key to almost every project we are involved in. When we meet with our clients for the first time, 44 | he s t i a

we talk about how they live: ‘How busy is your home – do you have children or pets? Do you have underfloor heating? Is the floor your key design element or do you want it to be a soft muted backdrop to the furnishings? From there, we work together to find the perfect flooring solution – matching our clients’ needs to the right products selected from our natural oak, stone and porcelain ranges. At Strathearn, we truly understand how rewarding and challenging selfbuild and renovation can be, and we are dedicated to ensuring that our customers enjoy discovering their new flooring just as much as the end result. We are passionate about what we do and about every project that we are involved in!


Strathearn offer Scotland’s largest selection of oak, porcelain and natural stone for flooring projects large or small. We are also leading floor installation experts with 20 years’ experience collaborating with leading architects and designers on historic restorations, innovative new builds and exceptional interiors.

st o ne andt im be r . c o . uk


Douglas Gibb Photography

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SCREEN TIME Williamstone Farmhouse features on BBC Scotland’s Home of the Year 2019!

May 2019 saw the award-winning Williamstone Farmhouse and Steadings hit screens, in the running to become BBC Scotland’s Home of the Year 2019. When asked if we had any suitable projects for the show, Williamstone was a clear choice. This traditional B-Listed farm building and its associated outbuildings underwent a full renovation in 2017, creating bright open plan family living and holiday accommodation, with beautiful Scandinavian inspired interiors. Instantly shortlisted following an initial visit from BBC producers, Williamstone went on to feature in episode 6. The farm was one of 3 buildings in the east of Scotland vying for a place in the final, enthusiastically judged by architect Michael Angus, interior designer Anna Campbell-Jones and lifestyle blogger Kate Spiers. Unfortunately no win this year but the Lothians’ beautiful home was the true winner for LBA! 47 | hestia


RETAIL THERAPY at Strathberry

LBA have teamed up with luxury designer brand Strathberry over the last few years, consulting on their fitout of the beautiful Burlington Arcade store and their new Edinburgh west-end HQ. In the prestigious, grade II listed Burlington Arcade in London, the brief was to create a luxury retail environment, establishing the debut store’s aesthetic. The boutique was designed to showcase the artisanal nature of the brand’s products, reflecting the brands values and creating a sumptuous interior. Natural materials including teak and brushed brass were proposed to be incorporated within custom furniture handcrafted by Colin Parker in Edinburgh. The bespoke furniture pieces offer flexibility, allowing

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Images courtesy of Strathberry

the display to be re-arranged to suit different sized products, as well as providing discreet storage at lower level. The arcade unit was tightly constrained, both in space planning and due to its listed status. Lighting, advertisement and fixtures all required careful design and consideration to relate sensitively to the existing fabric, whilst celebrating original features which give the arcade its spirit and atmosphere.

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The design aesthetic established at the Arcade paved the way for the refurbishment of the new HQ in Edinburgh, creating a continuity of brand image, recognisable to Strathberry’s loyal customer base. The ground floor showroom shares the same detailing of brass and teak, fitted out to suit the originally proportioned front principal room of the Georgian townhouse. The reception area is nestled comfortably into the bowed end of the room, with the products displayed in a delicate balance around the room. A fireplace and cosy seating offers customers an opportunity to ponder their purchase whilst enjoying an espresso from the bespoke tea prep tucked into a secret press cupboard!

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HANDS ON

with Cupa Pizarras

Managing a project on site becomes a lot simpler when you know exactly what to look out for, so we’ve been working to secure some hands-on experience to fully understand construction processes and recognise any issues along the way. With that in mind, we spent a day with Cupa Pizarras at the end of November getting to grips with slate. Starting with a practical element (our favourite!) we were presented with a purpose-built pitched roof to work on. Allan from Cupa led us through grading our slates, measuring the roof and pitch, checking headlap and selecting the correct slate size. We had a great time slating our mini roof, with Allan keeping a close eye to give us

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best practice tips and trouble shoot. We’re all familiar with slate and it can sometimes be taken for granted given how commonly it’s used, so it was great to sit down and discuss the theory side afterwards. We explored the origin and production of slate, and why it’s used over other materials. Cupa guided us through the specification process, and we got a chance to look at some successful case studies, taking cognisance of correct specification choices and seeing the practices we’d learned in action. So with half of our team clued up and confident in specification and snagging, it’s time to get the other half trained up in the new year! A huge thank you to Cupa for having us!


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The World Leader in natural slate.

CUPA PIZARRAS offer a wide range of high quality natural slates to suit all projects. Established in 1892 and operating 17 quarries, each slate is traceable from its precise point of origin to onsite delivery.

c upapi z a r r a s . c om / u k


Russwood Ltd is a Scottish supplier of high-quality, sustainable timber flooring, cladding and decking products

r u s swo o d . c o.u k


GOING SILV E R with Russwood

One of the most commonly asked questions Russwood hear is - “how long will my timber take to weather?� When left uncoated, all timber will eventually weather to a beautiful silver-grey colour, however; the length of time it takes and how evenly it will weather is dependent on a number of factors including location, building design and species, with some facades taking years to develop a consistent silver-grey finish. In areas of high rainfall, some timber cladding installations can turn grey quite quickly, whilst in drier areas the process is likely to be slower. Similarly, southwest facing walls weather relatively fast,


due to their exposure to sunlight, whereas north facing walls tend to weather more slowly, but uniformly. The form and shape of a building influence the impact that wind-driven rain will have on it. For example, buildings without eaves tend to get wettest at the top, particularly at the outer corners, so this may result in these areas weathering more quickly than other parts of the wall. If there are eaves, then uneven weathering can occur as sunlight will be unable to reach the areas under these eaves.

tone. While the curing of SiOO:X original takes 10-16 weeks to develop its silver-grey appearance, two pigmented versions Mid Grey and Light Grey - have been developed to give an immediate and long lasting colour to the timber. SiOO:X Mid Grey gives a soft, muted grey colour while the Light Grey version gives a very pale, almost white colour to the timber.

Achieving the weathered look without the uncertain wait is possible with the help of a Swedish timber impregnation system SiOO:X. SiOO:X uses advanced silicate technology to provide a consistently weathered appearance at an accelerated rate – typically 10-16 weeks. Applied in two parts, SiOO:X Wood Protector penetrates deep into the fibres of the cell walls where it forms a network of silica crystals, creating a barrier which is bonded to the surface. A further application of SiOO:X Surface Protector is then applied which binds with the Wood Protector and prevents water penetration. Following application, SiOO:X cures by reacting with atmospheric carbon dioxide and moisture to form an insoluble and flexible silica network within the timber surface. The formation of this silica network toughens the surface of the timber and forms an effective barrier against insect attack and rot. In addition to the protective benefits gained, as the mineral silicate cures it will start to turn the timber a beautifully even silver-grey

Russwood is a supplier of sustainable timber cladding, decking and flooring products. For more information on SiOO:X or any of our other products please visit www.russwood.co.uk 57 | hestia


Imagine courtesy of Rettie & Co

MEWS FLASH Located on a private cobbled street on the outskirts of the Dean Village, LBA were appointed to convert a vacant old car garage into two new dwellings. This existing mews structure has led a varied past, including housing offices and a vintage car garage. It will lead the foreseeable future as two dwellings that sensitively acknowledge the industrial past of the structure. Every effort has been made to retain and celebrate the character and traces of the past, from opening up the first-floor levels showcasing the ceiling ties, to reinstating the small arched hopper windows that will allow light to flood in at floor level.

Before shot, December 2018

at Belgrave Mews

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The existing ground floor openings which have been used as garages most recently have been retained and infilled with glazing. Timber fins housed in steel frames provide privacy for the living spaces at lower level. Internally, finishes provide a muted and natural palette with LBA designing bespoke wardrobes and stairs for the properties.

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Blackhall is an Edinburgh-based project management and all trades refurbishment brand, with over thirty years experience.

bl ac k h a l ldevelopment s . c o.u k


CU LT U RE D with Rachel Mackay

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At LBA, our office culture is an integral part of our day to day business. It affects all aspects of the company and is at the core of a maintaining a team who feel fulfilled, valued and can feel pride in their work. Our culture is cultivated by our team; everyone has a say in our values and how we action these to create a working environment which truly reflects our brand and personality. I believe feeling satisfied and valued at work is determined by a positive and thriving office culture, helping us feel and perform our best. As we grow, our reputation for a supportive, friendly and thriving office environment is attracting talented staff; allowing us to stand out from the crowd in a sea of job ads. A company with a positive culture will attract the type of talent that is willing to make a long term commitment to their workplace, where they can be nurtured to realise their full potential. We want everyone to feel like an integral part of our close-knit family, and make a point to hire new staff who share in our values and can help to shape our future. Strong company cultures are linked to higher rates of productivity; employees are encouraged to give meaningful input and to take ownership and pride of their projects. Staff are motivated and invested in their work, dedicated to employers who invest in their well-being and happiness. Of course, there are times when everyone feels pressure of workload, deadlines or modern life, but with a positive culture employees are encouraged to be open if they are struggling, and the team come together to support. There is no competition and no hierarchical boundaries, we want everyone to succeed and we trust that in stressful uncertain

times we have the safety net of our work family. Maintaining our culture is a constant ongoing process, which needs nurturing and updating as we grow to enable its success. Regularly looking at our values and assessing how we can live up to them is important as we evolve. We have a hardworking and dedicated team at LBA, and fully promote a worklife balance. We offset busy, fast moving weeks with monthly socials, bi-weekly lunches, getting to know everyone’s families and, if you’ve been following along on our bake-off, copious amounts of CAKE. I think creating a positive and supportive culture which enhances talent, diversity and happiness is the easiest way to get your employees to invest their future with you.

Rachel is our Studio Manager and keeps us all organised and on our toes with weekly pub quiz questions! 63 | hestia


fre sh LBA are proud to have grown to a team of 17 this year, welcoming 4 new members of architectural staff

Clare O’ Connell

Cameron Burt

Clare joined us following a community build project in Denmark. She has spent 2019 developing a research project, exploring the possibilities of communal living facilities for socially beneficial and sustainable housing. Clare is working towards her chartership qualification.

Cameron brings a fantastic diverse experience from practices in Denmark, London and Glasgow. He has developed expertise in high end residential and regeneration projects, and has been a key team member in the delivery of complex public schemes. Cameron is currently working on a community led residential development in Kirkcaldy.

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ta l e nt

Joanne Potter

Gemma Wheeler

Joanne has invaluable experience within the commercial and hospitality sector, with a portfolio boasting high-end luxury hotel refurbishments and alteration to listed buildings. Joanne is currently leading an apart-hotel scheme in central Edinburgh and designing holiday homes for a Scottish country estate.

Gemma joined us in November this year, previously working on a freelance basis to produce designs for Tate Britain. She has fantastic experience in complex public buildings and private residential projects. Gemma is currently working on designs for a modern intervention within a private home. 65 | hestia


the drawing board 66 | he s t i a

LBA are ending 2019 on a high, securing two new commissions and an award shortlisting in December alone. We take a peek into our team’s sketchbooks, full of inspiring projects in the works and schemes set by for a rainy day. We can’t wait to see ideas take shape in 2020 and look forward to another year of exciting collaborations!

Masterplanning concept proposed streetscape

Concept sketch, walled garden redevelopment

Elevation sketch for residential development

Contemporary residential extension to C-Listed building


Affordable housing scheme focused around cetral community courtyard

Street view sketch, Viewforth development

Early proposals for rural family dwelling

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18 Walker St, Edinburgh 0131 226 7186 studiolba.co.uk

Profile for studiolba

Hestia Vol 2  

Browse our second issue of Hestia, featuring projects, collaborations and culture from 2019.

Hestia Vol 2  

Browse our second issue of Hestia, featuring projects, collaborations and culture from 2019.

Profile for studiolba
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