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- Category: B
- Group Category Details: A
- (see NOTES)
- Date Added: 15/05/2009
- Local Authority: Stirling
- Planning Authority: Stirling
- Parish: Logie (Stirling)
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 81116 96842
- Coordinates: 281116, 696842
Morris and Steedman, 1966-67, incorporating earlier boundary walls. Single storey, L-plan, offset semi-detached Modernist houses with oversailing flat roofs; set on ground rising to NE in former walled policy of Airthrey Castle (see separate listing) with picturesque woodland setting. Painted render, coursed random rubble base course, deeply set to rear. Predominantly rendered NW and SE elevations. Continuous runs of horizontal windows to E and W elevations wrapping around corners, timber louvers over some windows especially to the E; further plate glass windows to the wings, wrapping around corner to stepped W end. Recessed main doorways to E with overhanging roofs and narrow tripartite sidelights; further secondary door to right (N) with bipartite window to side.
Predominantly plate glass in rectangular timber casement windows. Deep timber platform roof; capped aluminium flue and felt covered water tanks to centre.
INTERIOR: simple Modernist interior; split-level to rear; characterised by large areas of glazing and high ceilings. Utility room to right of entrance with kitchen to left; bedrooms arranged along a single corridor to far left opening off open-plan dining area behind kitchen; built in timber cupboards underneath window extend to right screening change of level; open-plan to lounge with broad steps. Lounge taking up full width of L plan wing; small study to rear with sliding timber panelled screen wrapping around corner. Doors full height floor to ceiling with plain timber frames. Some original floor to ceiling built-in cupboards in bedrooms throughout.
Statement of Special Interest
A-Group with the Principal's House, 4, 5 and 6, 7 Airthrey Castle Yard. An important example of post-War Modernist private houses by one of Scotland's most important practices of this period who were leaders in avant-garde house design. The houses demonstrate an innovative linear plan which relates sensitively to its natural setting in a former walled policy of Airthrey Castle and set against a dramatic backdrop of crags and trees. The original character of the design has remained little altered by later minor addition. These semi detached staff houses form an important group of bespoke Modernist houses with 2 other staff houses and the Principal's house (see separate listings). These houses demonstrate a clever juxtaposition of plan form and their interior treatment is simple, emphasising the high quality materials and finishes.
The intervisibility of space which is a key component of the open-plan nature of the suite of houses is also a common theme within the work of Morris and Steedman. Particularly successful is how the space is conceived carefully to reveal both internal and external vistas.
The houses have a distinctive rectilinear form, which is emphasised by the oversailing roofs. The overtly Modernist form in its long low profile responds sensitively to the site, in woodland and set against a dramatic craggy backdrop, a device common throughout the work of Morris and Steedman.
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 before pursuing further studies in landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia where they studied under Philip Johnson. This understanding of landscape and architecture is akin to the Japanese tradition and can be seen in their sensitive reaction to site in their designs. Relevant comparisons can be made to their houses at Ravelston Dykes; Avisfield, Edinburgh; Kevock Road, Lasswade. Their design philosophy was also much influenced by the American work of Johnson and the ideals of Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Richard Neutra. They returned to Edinburgh to establish their architectural practice in 1957. Although they designed a number of high profile public buildings the practice was best known for its special contribution to domestic architecture during the 1950s, 60s and 70s usually working closely with enlightened clients.
J Gifford, F Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Stirling and Central Scotland, (2002) p. 790; P Willis, A New Architecture in Scotland (1977).
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