Bernat Klein Studio is rated as the fifth most architecturally-influential building constructed in Scotland since WW2.
It was constructed in 1972 just outside Selkirk as a workspace fror the textile designer Bernat Klein. The sculptural composition of concrete, steel and glass set on a black plinth was a result of a close cooperatiopn of Klein and his friend architect Peter Womersley. The studio won an RIBA award in 1973 and Edinbugh Architectural Association Centenary Medal and currently has A-class listing from Historic Scotland in 2002.
It’s a great example of late Modernism: horizontally styled 2-storey rectangular-plan concrete and glazed studio space set on brick plinth with cantilevered overhanging upper floor, entrance bridge to side and central brick service core through to roof. Deep concrete beams to sides supported by 4 main columns; large pane anodised aluminium framed glazing to ends with heavy metal framed balcony railings, mitred frameless glazing to corners.
The interior consists of open plan studio space on two floors centred around vertical brick core housing stairs, kitchen and wc. Fitted cabinets under deep cills to long elevations; fireplace to SE corner with square section brick chimney. In 2006 kitchen units were added to both floors.
The building was designed to connect harmoniously with its setting on the sloping woodland site.
It all sounds amazing so what happened that such an iconic building has been left empty for so many years?
The building was bought in 2000 by Edinburgh-based developer with the intention to convert it into a private home. In 2002 permission was given to convert to living accommodation but it only resulted in a further structure on the roof and fitting of the modern kitchen units few years later. Apparently the renovation had been disrupted by the damage worth £100,000 caused by burst pipes and water running through the building for 2 weeks.