Inscape Joinery is a family run business which specialises in intricate building and joinery work.
It is based just outside Edinburgh and was set up in 1984. To date it has won 8 RIBA awards as well as being short-listed twice for the Stirling Prize as builder of Britain's Best Building.
The company is run by Steve and Gail Evans and it employs 20 other people.
Inscape has its own joinery workshops which has produced award winning work and as well as carpenters we employ our own team of builders and we are capable of intricate stonework restoration as well as general concrete and builder work.
Born in Liverpool in 1955, he moved to Amsterdam in the mid 70's before settling in Edinburgh in 1978.
A time served Wood Machinist, he later completed a Diploma in Liberal Studies, with Distinction, at Newbattle Abbey College and a Degree in Sociology at Edinburgh University before establishing Inscape Joinery in 1984.
Originally from the village of Mayfield just outside Edinburgh, Gail completed a diploma in Hotel Catering and Institutional Management and was the Assistant Domestic Bursar at Newbattle Abbey College before leaving to start a family in 1986.
She then ran her own floristry business before joining Inscape in 1990. She is officially the Office Manager and looks after staffing, wages, VAT and the business accounts. In practice she is involved in every aspect of the companies work.
Aidan grew up in the town of Baldock near London. He completed his degree course in Architecture at the Edinburgh College of Art in 1999 and joined Inscape in May 2000. He Project Manages work on site as well as producing design drawings for some of our clients and construction drawings for the workshops.
He also assists with the day to day running of the office and the co-ordination of the work both on site and in the workshops.
Our Site Foreman, he joined Inscape in May 1999 and has successfully brought scores of jobs to completion. He is an excellent tradesman and an inspiration to the young apprentices that have worked with him. Seen here standing in front of the extension he built at St Bernards Row in Edinburgh
Mike is one of our site foremen. He has extensive knowledge of the building trade and seamlessly manages his jobs on site. His sense of adventure that initially brought him to Inscape has taken him to Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia in recent years to say nothing of his microliting adventure with Richard Murphy.
The staff of Inscape Joinery here pictured in the rear garden of our project at Circus Lane in Edinburgh.
Back Row: Nathan Dickson, Steve Evans, Alec Brodie, Gordon McGill, Aidan Kirke, Fraser Campbell, Shawn Christie, Mike Davies, Michael Knowles.
Front Row: Gary Bolton, Darren Docherty, Paul Nelson, Ross Anderson, Kenny Burn.
Inscape Circa 2002
Nearly all the staff of Inscape and Inscale are here pictured standing in front of the exhibition photograph of Moray Place at Richard Murphy's 'Ten Years of Practice' Exhibition at the Fruit Market Gallery in Edinburgh.
Top Row: Gary Bolton, Bobbi Dickson, Donald Logan, Mike Knowles, Mike Davies, Aidan Kirke, Fraser Campbell, Marc James, Barry Nisbett, Mike Mercer, John Crolla.
Bottom row: Ronnie Young, Davy Borthwick, Alec Finlayson and Nigel Lothian.
Inscape Joinery began work in the summer of 1983. It was first set up in partnership with Steve Evans and Gordon Lawrence both former students of Newbattle Abbey College in Scotland. Gordon was a qualified Central Heating engineer and was already self employed. Steve was in his final year at Edinburgh University and newly married. They set up "Inscape Plumbing and Joinery" and began work installing central heating systems converting bathrooms and kitchens and doing pretty much anything else they were asked to do. Once even repairing a standard lamp that had been made from a steel tube and a steering wheel.
The partnership lasted a year or two before the partners went their separate ways. Steve carried on in business as "Inscape Joinery" and with a £500 loan from the Bank of Scotland bought a little blue van.
One day while fitting a kitchen for a Mr. Ian Wall in Edinburgh he met Donald McLean Logan. Donald was working with a plumber called Jake (Jake the plumber!) Soon after Steve and Donald began an association that lasted for 16 years until Donald died aged 50. Donald had originally been trained as an engineer in Ferranti. His work was meticulous and his patience was unending. It was this association that set the ground rules for Inscape and it was through Donald that Steve was introduced to the Architect Richard Murphy.
The now renowned architect was teaching at Edinburgh University, he had produced plans for the conversion of Donald and Linda Greens' home in Waverly Place, Edinburgh and he agreed to produce a retrospective building warrant for Steve's impetuous demolition of a couple of walls in his Maryfield home.
Marion Blytheman was a mutual client of Jake (the plumber) and Steve's. She asked Steve one day if he knew of an architect with "a bit of imagination" for a garden room she was planning to add on to her Ferry Road home. Richard Murphy produced the plans for the award winning and ground breaking extension at Inverleith Avenue, Edinburgh and Richard asked Steve if he fancied building it.
This was Inscapes' first serious building project and without a great deal of experience on this scale Steve and Donald were joined by Gordon Cox. Together they carried out all the work themselves. Only the stonework, plastering and leadwork was subcontracted. The plasterer, Kevin Todd later joined the firm. This job was the bench mark for future projects and the lack of experience meant that disappearing corners, shadow gaps and bespoke sliding folding glazing and the like were seen as the norm. Inscape has never made a problem out of an idea.
As time moves on Inscape has now worked with Richard Murphy Architects on dozens of projects. They have worked with many of Scotland's new breed of young contemporary architects and they have received 8 RIBA awards, thrice being shortlisted as builder of the best building in Britain in 1995, 1997 and in 2002.
In recent years they have begun to develop their own workshops and the workshop itself has produced award winning work such as the bed for Eileen and John Francis designed by Oliver Chapman. More recently it has built an 11 metre long Shelter for the Tiree Arts Centre designed by Sutherland and Hussey Architects. The Shelter won the RIAS Prize as Scotlands Best Building in 2003.
In January 2003 Inscape moved its Offices and its Workshops out to Dalkeith about 12 miles south of Edinburgh. Into premises on the grounds of Newbattle Abbey College the former seat of the Marquesses of Midlothian and since the 1930's an Adult Learning Centre. Which is just about where this story began. In the words of a song we wrote and performed there in 1979; 'Come to Newbattle, have some fun, where you get your studying done...'