About the project

This is a project about the transformation and renewal of a generic 1970s estate house built on an exceptional site in St Andrews . The house straddles the back gardens or 'lang riggs' to two terraced houses on one of St Andrew's main streets, South Street. It was built to a standard Betts design with little or no acknowledgment to its location, orientation or the spacious garden surrounding it. The ground floor layout of rooms was cellular and gloomy and access to the garden was restricted to an awkward side door. The architects' brief was to address these practical issues, make the house more energy efficient and from the exterior make it more worthy of its delightful garden and central location. St Andrews is a unique town with a distinct sense of place and a major ambition for the architects was to make the house more to do with its locale. Thus the new timber cladding references fishermen's storage huts at the harbour, the orange windows are similar to those of a house the client liked on another street nearby and recall the pre-twentieth century preference for coloured windows (before white paint was readily available). The new dormer window is skewed to focus on Gregory's Pillar on a distant hill. James Gregory was the first professor of maths at St Andrews and his pillar marked the end of the meridian line that he was the inventor of in the 17th century.