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

Win tickets: Scottish Homebuilding & Renovating Show

The Scottish Homebuilding & Renovating Show, Scotland’s largest consumer exhibition for self-builders and home renovators is back at the SECC, Glasgow on May 16 – 17 2015. Avocado Sweet has 3 pairs of tickets to be won. The show, sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, will help visitors bring their project to life whether they are building from scratch, undertaking a major extension, converting or renovating their home or just keen

Introducing Dunfermline architecture – crow stepped gables, art deco beauties and a dash of pseudo brutalism

We’re excited to bring you this new regular feature from Sam Foster of Sam Foster Architects in Dunfermline. Over the coming months Sam will be looking at some of the fascinating buildings and landmarks of Dunfermline and Fife. As soon as you brave an upward look and risk exposing your throat to that biting north-easterly you’ll start to see it: we are  completely and utterly surrounded by a wealth of

An Aberdonian take on Scandi design

This Aberdeenshire stone-built Heath Cottage has a beautiful Scandinavian-inspired interior thanks to its owners, Brown and Brown Architects. Equally appealing is their client’s refurbished cottage in South Crown Street, Ferryhill (pictured at end).  The practice undertakes commissions throughout north east Scotland stretching to the Western Isles and future projects include the old Portsoy Boat House. Check out the ‘before’ pictures to get a sense of the transformation. All photography by

Thomas Heatherwick’s £170m design for Pier 55, Hudson River, New York

Reminiscent of his design for the Olympic Cauldron is British designer, Thomas Heatherwick’s new design for the Pier 55 in the Hudson River, New York. Pier 55 will replace the delapidated Pier 54, famous as the site where Titanic survivors landed. In the hectare of parkland there will be a performance space that can accommodate 1000 people seated and another 2,500 on the grass. Walking along the curved paths through

The Grand Mosque de Paris – an actual oasis in the city

On a recent trip to Paris we spent a tranquil afternoon wandering around the beautiful Grande Mosquée de Paris in the 5th arrondissement. The mudejar style mosque with its 33m minaret is one of the largest in France. On a very warm October day it was fresh and cool with a wonderful atmosphere of peace. We learned the mosque was founded in 1926 as a token of gratitude after the war to

Architects Homes in 1977

Check out these architects houses from the 1970s. The pictures are from Barbara Plumb’s book Houses Architects Live In which was published in 1977.

Floating Bob and the Forgotten Mansion: the story of Valleyfield Woods

If you go down to Valleyfield Woods in Fife you’ll find a charming woodland with twisting walks, a tumbling burn and, in spring, carpets of snowdrops and bluebells. Look closer however and you’ll find that you are walking in the ghostly footprint of a very different environment – once so vividly present and now almost entirely vanished. A fine classical mansion stood here, grand enough to cast Downton in the

Dunfermline law firm has upcycled makeover

The statutory blue flecked carpet and shiny wood furniture that characterise so many legal offices are all too often made over with black leather, chrome and a job lot of abstract wall art so it’s refreshing to see Dunfermline law firm Stevenson & Marhsall  set an imaginative precedent by appointing interior designer and upcycling specialist Claire Christie of Clarabella Christie to give their offices a charming makeover. With the assistance