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Williamstone Farm Steadings

Williamstone Farm, located within a four-acre plot on the edge of North Berwick, is a stunning Listed farmhouse and collection of steadings that were organically constructed from the 1700’s to 1850’s. The historic courtyard steadings were constructed in a stunning rich red local sandstone with red pantile roofs. The project was to convert these unique buildings into three 3-bedroom dwellings; ‘The Byre’, ‘The Bothy’ and ‘The Barn’, which are currently being used as holiday lets.

The architectural approach and intention behind the sympathetic conversion of these historic B listed farm steadings was innovative, subtle and in-keeping.

The steadings were in a deteriorating state of disuse when our clients purchased the property and the aim of the project was to preserve this beautiful collection of original buildings and allow their character and form to be the focus of the conversion. LBA designed any alterations to be timeless and elegant, allowing the true character and essence of these Listed rural buildings to be celebrated.

The design led approach to this project was to define the original fabric of the steadings and any new alterations were sympathetically applied to minimise the impact on the listed buildings. LBA wanted to create a conversion project that was very different to its local counterparts; the picturesque rural setting and original detailing presented a fantastic opportunity to create something unique and progressive.

Steadings traditionally have minimal openings, so new openings had to be sympathetically designed in terms of position and scale and to be read as ‘new’ elements. This was achieved by wrapping the new openings in thin plates of rusted Corten Steel and setting the new glazing back into the opening, creating a sense of depth when viewed externally. In total nine new window openings were constructed around the external elevations and two dormers to the internal face of the 2-storey barn. All with consistent and identical proportions, minimal and timeless detailing clearly defining the new and the old.

The use of Corten Steel was inspired by the rural farming aesthetic with a number of examples of rusted, weathered metal visible around the site. Rusted metal farm machinery, roofs, fences and gates are evident throughout East Lothian where the property is located.

The falling eaves, floor heights and the narrow floor plan of ‘The Bothy’ steading was extremely challenging. The only design solution that would allow the steading to be used was to extend it, which is contentious in terms of planning. Therefore, to remain true to our design ethos we designed a fully glazed link corridor. The frameless glass roof tucks seamlessly under the eaves allowing the existing pantile roof to be completely retained and the original structure to remain unaltered.

what the client has to say

“LBA created a unique design to bring our derelict buildings back to life. To create a building that has such a positive impact on those who view it, evokes pride from us, and elicits joy from our guests who get to spend time within it.”


Structural Engineer: SDC Ltd

Interior Designer:  Hen & Crask

Photographer: Douglas Gibb & Jane Barlow & John Gilchrist

PROJECT details

Client: Private

Location: North Berwick

Status: Complete

Sector:  Residential


2018 Herald Property Awards for Scotland, Best Renovation/Conversion: WINNER

2018 Scottish Home Awards, Innovation in Design: FINALIST

2018 Scottish Home Awards, Renovation of the Year (Multiple Dwellings): FINALIST

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