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Minaki, 12 York Road

A Category B Listed Building in North Berwick, East Lothian

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Latitude: 56.0599 / 56°3'35"N

Longitude: -2.7318 / 2°43'54"W

OS Eastings: 354524

OS Northings: 685465

OS Grid: NT545854

Mapcode National: GBR 2T.QB5K

Mapcode Global: WH7TD.0YD9

Plus Code: 9C8V3759+W7

Entry Name: Minaki, 12 York Road

Listing Name: 12 York Road, Minaki

Listing Date: 3 March 2006

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398166

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50212

Building Class: Cultural

Location: North Berwick

County: East Lothian

Town: North Berwick

Electoral Ward: North Berwick Coastal

Traditional County: East Lothian

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Morris and Steedman, 1961. Long, low rectangular-plan single storey Modernist house; ribbon-glazed on seaward elevation to N; flat roof with central chimneystack protruding at right angles to roof-plane; covered entrance and garage to S at centre. White rendered walls; plate glass windows in timber frames. Set within former garden grounds of 19th century villa to W, St Ann's bounded by villa's tall, coped rubble sandstone garden wall to N (seperately listed).

INTERIOR: slightly altered, 2005. Simple Modern interior on linear plan with some surviving Morris & Steedman features including fitted timber cupboards and bookshelves; built-in wardrobes. Parquet flooring.

Statement of Interest

This house is significant as a relatively rare example of post-war domestic architecture by a prominent practice of the day.

James Morris & Robert Steedman, established their practice in 1957 in Edinburgh producing a number of private houses during the post-war period. Minaki is one of their earlier works. Commissioned by Mr and Mrs Robert Cheyne, it is in direct contrast with its traditional Victorian neighbours but, as with all Morris & Steedman houses, the design responds well to the setting due to its formal integration with the landscape.

The single storey horizontal form of the house relates to the terraced topography and, from within, this character is further emphasised by wide framed views of the seascape and horizon beyond. The site is bound to the north by the long rubble garden wall of St Ann's and, in recognition of this existing element, the north elevation has a band of random rubble walling beneath the strip of glazing, further connecting the house to its setting. This neo-vernacular feature is common to many post-war buildings, and in Scotland this is particularly so in the East.

In itself, the house is a good example of practical Modernist planning, maximising light internally by using large areas of glazing and therefore dissolving the boundary between outside and in. The influence of Mies van der Rohe's glazed box approach and Marcel Breuer's domestic designs is evident. To the north the windows form a strip above chair height, affording some privacy from the West Links golf course opposite. Windows are double-glazed on this elevation only giving protection from the weather. To the south, rooms are glazed from floor to ceiling and the garden provides a wooded backdrop. There are a number of access points to the garden, from both private and public spaces.

The entrance to the centre on the south elevation is protected by the carport with garage adjacent, projecting forward at right angles from the main body of the house, as at Avisfield (Morris & Steedman, 1955). Rooms are arranged principally to the north with the living room, dining room and kitchen in the middle. Flanking these public rooms, at either end of the house, are bedroom suites, bathrooms and the study and small sitting room.

The living room spans the full depth of the house, maximising sunlight from the south. Externally, this central living space is marked by the broad rectangular chimneystack which rises above the flat roof-plane, another characteristic Morris & Steedman feature.

Other comparable houses by the practice include 16 Kevock Road, Lasswade; 32 Charterhall Road, Edinburgh; 65 Ravelston Dykes Road, Edinburgh (all listed category B).

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