City Architecture Office  

Yau House


Client : Private
Design Stage : C-L

29 Shandon Street is a category B-listed 2 storey end of terrace townhouse in the Shandon Conservation Area of Edinburgh. The clients brief was for flexible family accommodation, particularly to suit the special needs of one of their daughters, who has cerebral palsy.

It was clear that the original building did not meet any of the requirements for special needs and detailed consultations with the family’s Occupational Therapist established what was to be done. Access, circulation and sanitary provision were all to suit wheelchair and carer use. The clients emphasised that the house should retain a domestic feel and not resemble a hospital clinic. These issues had to be considered in conjunction with the properties listed status. The original dining room was converted into a ‘special needs’ bedroom. A ‘wheel-in’ en-suite was formed off the room and by dismantling a double window bay to the garden a direct access was formed. Externally, the garden strip was ramped from street level to the new doorway. It is finished with slip resistant slate and doubles for a sun terrace. Parallel banded Cedar stick screening encloses the sun terrace and offers more privacy from the street.

During the initial survey, it was realised that the central roof valley was a sheltered sun-trap with fine views south to Craiglockhart Hill. A glass tread and open riser stair that climbs to a fully glazed landing opens up the roof and allows for maximum light penetration. Further conversion works involved installing a new central heating and hot water system, the design of two bespoke shower rooms and a bathroom. Other items included, fitting a new kitchen, new lighting, comms networking, re-wiring, overhauling of the sash & case windows and doors with new ironmongery were all fully refurbished and finally complete redecoration.

The completed house achieves the client’s brief for light-filled adaptable space, and comfortably suits the changing needs of their family, subtly addressing contemporary design in a listed context.