House at Cramond Edinburgh Scotland
Foxfield House, Cramond, Edinburgh, Scotland. 2001-04
Cramond is a village on the northern outskirts of Edinburgh with a strong traditional architectural character of stone houses with clipped eaves, steep slate gabled roofs and white render. The site of the house is right on the edge of the Edinburgh urban footprint and hard against the ‘green belt’ with expansive views to the north over open fields to the Forth Estuary. Lindsay Johnston studied architecture in Dundee, further up the coast.
The major move in siting was to locate the new house on a north-south axis, with the main living room and bedroom at the north end to avail of the fine views. Then to introduce a solar conservatory on the south end, to capture passive solar gain that can be transferred to the north end, and to provide a warm covered ‘interstitial’ space within the conservatory beside the family kitchen.
The traditional architectural language of rendered white walls and 45˚ natural slate roofs is transformed into a modern dialect with finely detailed glass to glass corner windows, dormers, balconies, canopies and decks. The house is built using the highly insulated SIPS (structural insulated panel system). The concrete walls and roof slates are therefore a weathering ‘overcoat’
Innovative environmental and energy systems are understated, the passive solar conservatory to the south also contains a large active solar system with photovoltaics integrated into the roof glass plus standard pv’s located on the roofs of the south facing end stores. A geothermal ground source heat pump connected to two deep boreholes feeds an hydronic underfloor heating system cast into the concrete ground floor. Rainwater is harvested off the roof into large stainless steel gutters and stored in an underground tank.
There is a transparency in the large interior spaces combined with a selection of sunny corners, both inside and outside the house, which allow restful enjoyment of the delightful surrounding landscape and views to the River Forth.