Pends and vennels: Dunfermline Architecture Guide #4

Pends and Vennels. The words sound like a medieval rap duo, don’t they? Or an Ian Rankin novel, perhaps. But that’s probably where we would be more likely to associate those words with: Edinburgh. There the pends, closes, vennels, wynds, alleys and lanes flow down the side of the volcanic ridge that defines the Old Town like soft toffee, moulding and squeezing themselves around and past immovable obstacles, offering shortcuts

Plan to Work On Dunfermline – a fascinating Kay Mander film

Interested to know what people think of this. Plan to Work On is Kay Mander’s 1948 government-sponsored film about the planning for Dunfermline’s post-war reconstruction. It was originally intended for a specialist audience of architects and planners but is now a fascinating record of mid-20th-century town planning and, for locals, full of great shots of post war Dunfermline. It was made with help from James Shearer , the architect behind Dunfermline’s

Dunfermline architecture #3: loose fit, long life buildings

In the third of our regular features on Dunfermline architecture, Sam Foster introduces us to the concept of ‘loose fit, long life’ buildings. It seems we have plenty of them locally and the recently refurbished Fire Station is a prime example… ‘I’m guessing you’ll have already have been to Fire Station Creative – the refurbished Dunfermline fire station on Carnegie Drive – because when I went up there for lunch

John O’Groats, more than a signpost

It was a long way to travel to get a photo of a signpost. However, these days visitors to John O’Groats are less likely to turn on their heel disappointed at travelling all that way just for some signage. Thanks to Natural Retreats, who worked with Scottish architects GLM and Manchester interior design company, No Chintz, there is self-catering accommodation, a shop and co-operative cafe.  Admirably, Natural Retreats decided to keep

Barry’s Tree Church

Barry Cox decided there was a space on his land in New Zealand that needed a church. The churches he’d studied over the years while travelling in Europe were the inspiration but he combined this with his other passion, trees. Fortunately, he knew a thing about trees; his business  re-locates huge mature trees with a giant ‘tree spade’, a contraption that looks a bit like a huge apple corer. With

Beautiful walled garden at Maggie’s centre, Lanarkshire

Without a beautiful old stone wall it’s always tricky to make a walled garden look truly appealing. However, Reiach and Hall, an Edinburgh-based architectural practice, have pulled it off at the latest Maggie’s Centre which opened in Lanarkshire in 2014. Neil Gillespie of Reiach and Hall says: ‘ A Maggie’s brief is challenging for many reasons, it is a unique building type. A Maggie’s is all about a different kind

Stylish ‘beach house’ to rent in Morar, near Mallaig

Want to stay in this stylish ‘beach house’ in Morar, near Mallaig in the Scottish Highlands? Designed by Glasgow-based Dualchas architects, the house was shortlisted for the RIAS awards in 2015 and is available to rent a week at a time.  The Glasgow-based firm adapted the concept of the traditional Highland agricultural building for modern living. The house is called ‘Faire Chaolais’, pronounced ‘Fara Chulish’ to rhyme with Ballachulish and

‘Beautiful small buildings’ by Dumfries & Galloway company

When Sam Booth was asked about planning permission for a static caravan to generate income as a holiday let for a Galloway farming couple he came up with much more attractive proposal. Instead he offered to build something that would be more in keeping with the surroundings, that met the same planning conditions and could be built for the same budget so long as he kept the design rights. Brockloch

Public buildings in public spaces: Dunfermline architecture guide #2

A few months ago we moved from Dunfermline to Culross. Writing this, the view is of the slate and pan-tiled roofs of the various NTS-owned houses as well as our tallest building – the towered Town House – where questionable justice was meted out on a regular basis to thieves and adulterers. And it feels appropriate that a public building is the one that sticks out, that overlooks our everyday

Dumfries garden open just one day a year, this Sunday

This highly inventive garden is open to the public for only one day a year. Your small window to view the Garden of Cosmic Speculation near Dumfries is this Sunday, 3 May from noon until 5pm. The 30-acre area was designed by Charles Jencks and his late wife Maggie Keswick Jencks. Entry to the garden is £6 with all proceeds going to Maggie’s Centres.  The centres are based on principles of