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High Sunderland, the Studio (Former Bernat Klein Studio)

A Category A Listed Building in Selkirk, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.5732 / 55°34'23"N

Longitude: -2.8361 / 2°50'10"W

OS Eastings: 347376

OS Northings: 631377

OS Grid: NT473313

Mapcode National: GBR 83MZ.SZ

Mapcode Global: WH7WV.D5PV

Entry Name: High Sunderland, the Studio (Former Bernat Klein Studio)

Listing Date: 4 October 1994

Last Amended: 1 March 2007

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 353828

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19484

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Selkirk

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Selkirkshire

Parish: Selkirk

Traditional County: Selkirkshire

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Description

Peter Womersley, 1972. Late Modernist horizontally styled 2-storey rectangular-plan concrete and glazed studio space set on brick plinth with cantilevered overhanging upper floor, entrance bridge to side and central brick service core through to roof. Deep concrete beams to sides supported by 4 main columns; large pane anodised aluminium framed glazing to ends with heavy metal framed balcony railings, mitred frameless glazing to corners.

INTERIOR: good open plan interior studio space on two floors centred around vertical brick core housing stairs, kitchen and wc. Fitted cabinets under deep cills to long elevations; fireplace to SE corner with square section brick chimney. Simple use of quality finishing materials throughout. Later kitchen units added to both floors (2006).

Statement of Interest

The Studio is a very fine sculptural late Modernist building designed by Peter Womersley (1923-1993) the internationally renowned borders based architect. The contrasting structural elements of bold horizontal cantilevered striated concrete join with finely framed vertical glazing to illustrate a monumental sensibility executed with sophistication and with great attention to detail. The studio design displays elements of Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water, the seminal project which Womersley himself admitted inspired him to take up a career in architecture in his teens.

It was commissioned by the textile designer Bernat Klein as a workspace for design, weaving, exhibiting samples and business meetings and lies adjacent to his home, High Sunderland, also built by Womersley in 1958 (see separate listing).

The horizontality of the main structure is neatly punctuated by the vertical brick service core extending onto the roof space and the bridge at first floor level linked to raised ground to the N anchors the studio to the site. The building was designed to connect harmoniously with its setting on the sloping wooded site; the severe horizontality of the concrete elements succeed in contrasting with the verticals of the trees around it.

The studio is a culmination of Womersley's work in Scotland marrying his two distinct styles; the horizontally aligned modular glazed housing such as High Sunderland and The Rig and the highly sculptural concrete forms of Gala Fairydean Stadium and the Transplant Unit at the Western General.

The Bernat Klein Studio won an RIBA award in 1973 for its design and exemplary use and combination of the materials of concrete, brick, steel and glass. It was also awarded the Edinbugh Architectural Association Centenary Medal.

Upgraded from category B to A in July 2002. List description revised February 2007. Permission given to convert to living accommodation circa 2006 has resulted in a further structure on the roof and modern fitted kitchen units.

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