It’s time for a new Interior Idol – Crush Lust Stalk feature and this week I’m speaking with architect Stuart of Archer & Braun. You all know I’m such an geek over architecture, so I’m really excited about this chat with Stuart. I met Stuart last year at the launch party (remember those things?!) of ’13 East London Street’ a new Design Studio in Edinburgh made up of Hen & Crask (Interior Design), Joseph French (Kitchens and Cabinets), Strathearn Flooring (Wood, Tiles, Surfaces) and Archer & Braun (Architects). Their newly revamped studio shows off their inspiring vision and just how talented each company is at their individual specialities.
While chatting with local urban scout Foster Bloom, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a photo that I just had to pick up – a grand Victorian home with a breathtaking floor to ceiling glass extension that reminded me of the iconic mid-century gem The Glass House in the states. And at that exact moment, I met Stuart of Archer & Braun Architects, the mastermind behind The Edinburgh Pavilion. Hello. I’ve fallen in love with a building and you’ll soon see why.
The rest is history as I rattled off a bunch of questions wanting to hear all about his architecture practice, their new Edinburgh office and the various projects they were juggling from a terraced house extension in London to a listed home smack in the middle of an area of outstanding beauty. One thing is consistent – making contemporary design approachable, their attention to the smallest of details, the materials they use, and how they create a strikingly timeless vibe.
Before I get too far along, I should say that Stuart is just one half of Archer & Braun, his partner is Sarah and together their projects have been seen in Dwell, 4x Dezeen, Architecture Digest, The Modern House, The New York Times, Arch Daily and BBC Scotland’s Home of the Year. See it all here.
In fact, they are looking for their next project in Edinburgh – so if you have an extension project, a renovation project, a new build or internal project, please reach out to Stuart & Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, let’s get into CRUSH, LUST, STALK
CRUSH: Stuart says he’s currently crushing on Mid century LA modernist homes like the Florence Polin House by John Lautner. As a practice, Stuart & Sarah love modernism and natural materials. Stuart says “This guy did it really well, all whilst making the most of the natural landscape around the building”. Great choice Stuart, you had me at ‘Midcentury’, I’m a huge fan of the modernism movement and dream of living somewhere sultry like Palm Springs, the mecca of mid-century architecture.
LUST: Stuart was recently helping some clients update their 1960’s modernist listed home in Edinburgh and found the Flos string light (designed by MIchael Anastassiades) that he & Sarah thought was so perfect for the space. Stuart says “It’s a super simple pendant light and is on the must have list because it is quite graphic, and is a contemporary interpretation of mid century pendants. It has a lovely warm glow and you can dim it by touching the string – love the tactile aspect to this”.
STALK: Stuart loves the work that Powerhouse Company produces. They are a Dutch architect’s practice that make beautiful one off modernist houses, much like the work he wants to do more of! Thanks for introducing me to a new architect and I immediately got lost in their feed. Check out their insta feed especially their recent project called ‘Loop of Wisdom” – it is mind blowing.
Stuart says his fave room in his house is probably the living room. “Its style I guess is Scandinavian Modern. When we refurbished the place, we installed American black walnut clad ‘picture’ windows in the hall and the kitchen that both look into the living room. As it’s a compact house, this gives a feeling of space and allows the rooms to interact with each other without demolishing all the internal walls – an open plan in this type of house is often a disaster as it highlights how small the rooms are.”
Stuart goes on to say that “My wife is an artist and my father-in-law used to be a furniture designer so we have the odd classic piece such as an Eames chair. I also really like the lights we have such as the Lektor floor lamp by Niclas Hoflin and the George Nelson ball bubble lamp. We wanted the room itself to be light so we chose an engineered oak floor (by Scottish company Russwood) that we treated with Osmo Raw – this makes the floor look untreated/unfinished as it is matt and has a small amount of white pigment in it.”
Stuart says the walls are Slate II by Paint & Paper Library which he uses a lot – “such a nice off white that somehow manages to be warm with a subtle tone of grey.” The fireplace they’ve deliberately left bare and as simple as possible, exposing the old brickwork and installing a flush honed black slate fireplace hearth. “It’s our dog’s favourite place to hang when it’s hot in the summer as it’s nice and cool to lie on!”
Thanks for sharing so many interesting details about your home and the materials & brands you’ve used to create a truly magical, understated yet cosy space.
Stuart says he would take a road trip north to the Isle of Skye to the award winning Black House by Dualchas architects. He says “the views are to die for, think it might be wise to wait until spring though.” I remember seeing this house on Grand Designs feature of the RIBA House of the Year shortlist in 2019. Click HERE to see the interior of the house. Skye is one of those places that is truly rugged, exotic and intoxicating. I’ve been in January and while there are just a few hours of daylight, it’s simply majestic.
So … what’s up next for Archer & Braun?
They just started working on the refurbishment and extension of a large period property in central Edinburgh. Stuart says “The extension is very modern and includes a courtyard and lots of beautiful stone and glass – we’re very excited to see it come to life!”
They have also launched a new collection that they designed & developed during lockdown. An incredibly sexy mirror with thin wood surround in oiled walnut and bleached lime. Stuart describes the mirror as “The PFH mirror appears to float within its thin timber surround and the slightest shadow gaps.” Handmade in London, the oiled walnut adds a touch of warmth while the bleached lime is perfection in a bathroom.
Other exciting news is that their Edinburgh Pavillion project is being published in a book (yes!) and will appear in this month’s Homes & Interiors Scotland. Go grab yourself a copy.
I have a say a MEGA thanks to Stuart for the inspiration, for all the great ideas for lighting, paint, and furniture as well as modernism architects & designers to investigate. You can follow Archer & Braun on Insta HERE and visit their website HERE.
Thank you for reading this issue of Crush, Lust, Stalk,