Bonnington House - Jupiter Artland

Wilkieston, Edinburgh

Bonnington House sits at the heart of a beautiful historic landscape and the contemporary sculpture park Jupiter Artland. The sensitive and subtly contemporary addition of two new wings to this A-listed country house was achieved through thorough historical analysis, creative detailing and high standards of craftsmanship and are themselves a showcase of art & craft.

Detailed research revealed Bonnington to be much older than was thought and the 1750 Roy Map showed that the house once had wings, although there are no known drawings.  Extensive 'Jacobethan' remodelling of the house in1858 with decorative turrets and stone mouldings, based on Linlithgow Palace and Heriot's Hospital, have themselves been re-interpreted in the contemporary detailing.

Design analysis included 3D-modelling of comparable Scottish houses to establish a suitable scale.  The new wings complement the original house, reinforce the principal avenue and create new picturesque views without obscuring existing sightlines or impact on the designed landscape.  The final design gained the support of the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland and the Garden History Society, which was crucial to Planning being granted. 

Primarily a family home, the new wings also provide facilities for the sculpture park and have strengthened the house's presence and position at the heart of the surrounding historic and contemporary landscape.  New accommodation includes high quality spaces for family and visiting artists, a secure archive for storing documentation for the ever growing park's creative progress and a multi-purpose 'Ballroom' which can operate separately from the rest of the house.

The form and style appears traditional, but the subtly contemporary approach uses traditional and matching materials and workmanship and reinterprets key design features without copying the main house.  This is revealed up close, but appears original to the house when viewed as a whole, seamlessly integrating the old with the new.

The details - internally and externally - are highly personal: they are full of meaning, reflecting family interests or the use of spaces.  We successfully achieved this through close collaboration with craftspeople and artists, sharing knowledge and expertise. Good client-artist relationships developed quickly, producing exceptional results.

The new construction is highly energy efficient with heating and hot water provided by a large ground source heat pump.

Public reaction has been remarkable, and we have been proud to play a part in the continued evolution of Bonnington, building on its fine history.

Graciela Ainsworth, stone carving & conservation: www.graciela-ainsworth.com

Alan Dawson, architectural metalwork: www.adaptahaus.co.uk

Naomi Jobson & Bob Moore, Ballroom plasterwork: www.jobsonmoore.com

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