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Scadlaw House

A Category B Listed Building in Humbie, East Lothian

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Latitude: 55.8514 / 55°51'4"N

Longitude: -2.8647 / 2°51'52"W

OS Eastings: 345963

OS Northings: 662355

OS Grid: NT459623

Mapcode National: GBR 80FS.L9

Mapcode Global: WH7VG.Z613

Plus Code: 9C7VV42P+G4

Entry Name: Scadlaw House

Listing Name: Scadlaw House

Listing Date: 6 February 2007

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399324

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50795

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Humbie

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: Haddington and Lammermuir

Parish: Humbie

Traditional County: East Lothian

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Morris and Steedman, 1968-9. Single-storey and attic, L-plan modern movement house with deep-eaved monopitch roof sloping down to 2-sided entrance courtyard and forming covered walkway; cedar shingles to roof and upper floor. White-painted render to ground floor on grey brick base course; concrete cill course to S elevations.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: principal entrance in re-entrant angle with slatted glazed door and side-lights; slatted strip windows under eaves and otherwise bare walls to NE and NW (entrance) elevations. 2-storey elevations to SE and SW with fairly regular arrangement of picture windows and sliding glazed doors. Garage to NE gable. Cedar-boarded ceiling below eaves.

INTERIOR: double-height galleried entrance hall with raked timber-boarded ceiling and diagonally-set beams occupies central space in the angle of the L-plan layout. Double-height drawing room with timber-boarded panelling to ceiling and upper part of walls is also open to the gallery; slate-backed fireplace with copper-hooded stove to drawing room. Generous floor-to-ceiling Cedar of Lebanon doors to principal rooms opening off entrance hall. Fitted cupboards to some bedrooms.

BOUNDARY WALLS: random rubble boundary / screen walls to NE.

Statement of Interest

A fine and unusually little-altered example of the work of Morris and Steedman with a dramatic interior. The principal alteration is a sympathetic upgrading of the kitchen that was done many years ago. The house has a distinctive bold, angular form and there is a marked contrast between the south and north elevations. From the approach (N) the house sits extremely well in the landscape due to the weathered cedar shingles and low wallhead height of the single storey entrance front, sheltered by the broad overhanging eaves. On the southern side the house appears box-like; however the cedar shingles that hang vertically on the upper storey and cover approximately the upper three-quarters of the elevations have mellowed with age and look colourfully rustic and natural. The difference between the two fronts could hardly be more marked: there are no windows on to the entrance front (except a horizontal slit with timber slats over) but the garden front has regular fenestration and large windows to just above floor height to the drawing room.

The practice of Morris and Steedman is recognised as a pioneer of modern architecture in Scotland. James Shepherd Morris (1931-2006) and Robert Russell Steedman (b.1929) both graduated in architecture from Edinburgh School of Art in 1955. They pursued further studies in landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, studying under Philip Johnson. They were much influenced by Johnson and the ideals of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Richard Neutra. They returned to Edinburgh and established their architectural practice in 1957. Although they designed a number of large public and commercial commissions the practice was most recognised for its special contribution to domestic architecture during the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

The architects had originally intended to give Scadlaw a copper roof, but finally decided to choose 18' long cedar shingles. The front door and windows are also of cedar, while the internal panelling is Douglas fir. Low maintenance was a priority, and the shape of the roof was very practical indeed as it provided both plenty of storage space and copes well with heavy falls of snow. The roof drains into a circular concrete trough and then into a square pond. The house was originally intended to have cellars, but this proved too expensive for the clients so it was set on a concrete platform instead.

MacAlpine Builders were the main contractors and also carried out the joiner work. The house took 7 months to build and cost £7/sq ft (it is 6,500 sq ft). Frank Tindall was the planning officer for East Lothian Council. The house won a Civic Trust Award in 1971.

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