House and Garden Room
Pembroke Place is essentially a family home and its interior has developed and changed as the families living there have but probably never as much as since the Evans' arrived in 1987.
The property is an end terraced stone built cottage from about 1860. Two streets of these cottages predate the other houses in the area and were probably built to house railway workers. The main line from Glasgow passes behind Carberry Place at the back of Pembroke Place.
When we moved into the house the accommodation comprised a living room, a kitchen and two bedrooms. The house had not been built with a bathroom so an alteration dating from about 1930 had provided one by cutting away nearly a third of the main living room.
The first renovation work we undertook brought the house up to date and provided hot water central heating and new wiring. The bathroom was modernised and a disused fireplace was brought back into vogue. We lit a log fire in it for our first Christmas in the house, then the parents of one eighteen month old boy.
A year later we added another son to our number with the need for more space which led to the conversion of the attic, the enlargement of the bathroom and the alteration of the kitchen.
This scheme was designed by Richard Murphy and seemed to solve the problems inherent in the house. But as the family grew, a girl this time, the need for more space re-emerged.
A conservatory at the back of the house was a short term measure which proved the need for a full blown house extension.
Architect Graham Mitchell of Marion and John Macdonald Architects in Aberdeen, a former employee of both Inscape and Richard Murphy was employed to finalize and fully detail the design and get the project on site.
The scheme would provide a dining space and a combined living space which would connect to the garden by means of a large sliding glazed screen. The kitchen would also enjoy its fourth refit.
The project took four months to complete and received a RIBA Scotland Award the following year.
As the children have grown we seem to have played musical chairs with the accommodation and these days with our eldest now out of his teens things continue to change.
In 2005 we redesigned the bathroom, it is now in its grown up version and much thought was put into the refurbishment. The main bedroom moved upstairs into the attic family room and a small study up there was converted into a dressing room.
More time seems to be spent these days enjoying the garden and since there is very little football played in it now the garden itself has become more of a focal point. The Extension Room was designed to bring the garden into the house (as they often say) and we have played our part tailoring it to play its part properly.
It is lit at night so the darkness never separates it from the house and we have used little mirror tricks here and there to increase the sense of space, as in the house itself. More recently we excavated a patio area near the bottom of the garden, taking it down about a metre with a small barbeque area set above it but hidden from the house itself by the planting of a bamboo screen, again to give a greater sense of space.
A swinging seat suspended from the outshoot of the Garden Room roof and a very bespoke garden gate are the extent of the works so far.