Kinross House, Scotland

AWB Associates completed the wholesale design and refurbishment of this highly significant 90-acre estate in 2012.  The private house, designed by gentleman Scottish architect William Bruce in the late 17th century, is recognised as one of Scotland's finest examples of classical residential architecture, and the vast majority of the original fabric is still in place.

We were commissioned by the current owner to restore this magnificent landscape on the shore of Loch Leven in Fife as part of a comprehensive programme of repairs and careful contemporary re-interpretation.  Through meticulous research, our masterplan and vision for the estate brought back the lost layers of horticultural diversity - built up over three centuries - and overlaid them on a new geometrical framework, all under-pinned by the classical order of the square, golden section rectangle and root-2 rectangle.

The grounds are arranged - loosely in places, and precisely in others - around a very striking central axis, inspired by Bruce's tours of the grand formal gardens of France and Italy.  The axis is defined by the dramatic entrance drive, before slicing through the house, along the centre of the 10-acre walled gardens before terminating on the tower of Lochleven Castle on an island in the loch, from where Mary Queen of Scots escaped after her imprisonment by Elizabeth I. 

We redefined this axis by the straightening of the drive and the complete restoration of the classical layout to the walled garden, inspired by Bruce's 1675 plans.  We re-introduced woodland gardens, restored the kitchen garden, complete with new traditional glasshouse, introduced a large formal pool to the re-formed forecourt, re-introduced large orchards, re-created three large parterres planted with a sustainable tapestry of grasses and perennials, re-planted half a mile of herbaceous borders and restored the breath-taking relationship between house and loch revealing views not seen for over 150 years.

The house is a private residence, available for hire to private and corporate guests.  In 2013 the project won the prestigious Historic Houses Association Restoration Award.

All photographs © Ray Cox Photography