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1, 3 and 5 Howdenhall Road

A Category B Listed Building in Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9048 / 55°54'17"N

Longitude: -3.1655 / 3°9'55"W

OS Eastings: 327226

OS Northings: 668577

OS Grid: NT272685

Mapcode National: GBR 8VZ.8S

Mapcode Global: WH6ST.BVV6

Entry Name: 1, 3 and 5 Howdenhall Road

Listing Date: 23 April 1992

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 371095

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB30278

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Edinburgh

County: Edinburgh

Town: Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Liberton/Gilmerton

Traditional County: Midlothian

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William Kininmonth & Basil Unwin Spence, 1934, and additions 1936.

House and offices in modernised traditional idiom with some Mediterranean references: cement render, originally cream, now white-painted, with revealed cream sandstone ashlar dressings, and distinctive blue-grey pantiled roofs, lost at house, but retained at offices. House set low in slope of ground, behind 2 symmetrical office blocks, in turn behind screen walls, giving impression of large expanses of roof and little wall to W (road), but full 2 storeys to E (garden).

HOUSE (No 3): 2-storey; simple plan with single room to bright, and 2 rooms to left of central entrance hall. Pitched roof with modern replacement tiles circa 1980, end stacks with concrete-bay end additions, 1936, in similar style, originally flat-roofed, piended roofs clasping gables of main house added circa 1980.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 3-bay, central entrance with simple cream ashlar doorpiece with tiled top, inner door recessed, glazed, with 15 square panes in grid of thick astragals, as at front gate; single windows either side, with 8 lying panes. 1st floor: central single window now altered with single pane, originally with 6 lying panes, flanked by 2 horizontal windows, each with 2 mullions and 9 lying panes. Single-storey additions flanking.

E (GARDEN) ELEVATION: 3-bay, with single bays at later additions flanking. 2-leaf glazed doors to centre, 6 lying panes vertically-placed to each leaf; long v-plan stair window over, with 7 square panes either side of central mullion. Ground floor flanking windows of 12 lying panes, 4-panes deep; 1st floor windows now altered to be the same as ground, originally 9-pane, only 3-panes deep, cills droped to improve day lighting. Single window in left-hand addition, 2-leaf glazed doors (leading from kitchen) in right-hand addition, originally (1936) window also.

All windows originally with shutters, as at offices but now removed.

INTERIOR: staircase with original baluster and broad pine handrail at inner angle, aluminium handrail fixed to wall at right; some original fitted cupboards in hall; yellow and grey tiled fireplace with detached mantel shelf in dining room (to right/S of entrance, ground).

House linked by archways to offices: harled, arches slightly pointed with contrasting edge-on grey pantiles as 'voussoirs' giving effect of waves; single row of tiles at wallhead.

'OFFICES': 2 identical mirroring blocks, flanking gate to road, and centred on house entrance behind; narrow on plan. Deep snecked and squared bull-faced sandstone rubble plinths, white-painted harl above; glazing pattern as at house, with vertically-disposed lying panes; original blue-grey pantiles and shutters retained. Single-storey, with slightly lower projecting garage bays at centres, to right (No 5) with modern garage door, to left (No 1) with 2-leaf boarded and glazed original garage doors; inner bays at main blocks, W elevations (to right on left-hand block) with prism oriels.

Rear (E) elevations with canted windows projecting at outer bays, entrance in S block at inner bay. Single tiny ridge stacks over main blocks towards centres.

SCREEN WALL TO W (ROAD): earlier, 19th century rubble-built with wounded copes; 1934 square-gridded low wooden gate, in style of Spence's doors elsewhere.

Statement of Interest

Compares with Spence's house at Frogston Road, Edinburgh, and with unexecuted designs for a house for the MacWhannels on Commiston estate (designs at NMRS), 1934.

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