the project

This 1960s Modernist family home in the Glasgow commuter village of Killearn was originally commissioned by the parents of our practice principal Tom Robinson. Designed by architect Donald Downie, it is a bold architectural tour de force of its time.

The design is typical of many mid-century houses. Its mono-pitched roof is the outstanding feature and its design broke from the common minimalist flat roof of the 1960’s as well as from the traditional pitched roofs that came before. The external materials used are also typical of the era, with use of dark timber cladding and Skye marble dry-dash.

The fashionable Sixties interiors are richly varied with assorted timber wall linings and ceilings, all sourced from the Robinson family sawmill.

Today, although the home retains much architectural integrity with some features coming back into fashion, it needs an upgrade. Lifestyles have changed and the interior plan and accommodation needed to be brought in line with a more open-plan way of living.

How we worked

Architect Donald Downie’s original design is a successful one, with well-conceived fundamentals such as flow, quality of daylight and size of space. The house was built in two phases with the floating-roof drawing room being added in the late 70s. What we have designed for today is a reorganisation of the internal spaces plus a light-filled extension.

The upgrade adds a comfortable study or second sitting room, a sitting area off the large new kitchen-dining extension, an enlarged cloakroom, a spacious boot room with ample storage space for outdoor gear, and an additional ground floor WC. Upstairs, the main bedroom has been given a dressing room. In addition, a deck has been designed to add outdoor living space that flows seamlessly from the living area, to give family living another dimension. The additions and improvements complete this generously planned spacious house and bring it into the 21st century without compromising its original design.

Success of the project

This proposal is under consideration with Stirling Council planning department. We anticipate that the proposed design would significantly add to the enjoyment of what is already an interesting and spacious architecturally significant family home.