Porteous’ Studio was created by architect Eilidh Izat and chef Jack Arundell, who went on to form design practice IZAT ARUNDELL. ‘The name comes from Captain Porteous who was lynched in the Grassmarket. Porteous’ Studio lies down a small lane called Porteous’ Pend’, Jack tells me.
Stepping inside from a cobblestone street to its toasty velvet limestone, it’s the kind of place you want to save for a surprise and savour the gasp of your loved one as you turn the corner. We asked the couple to fill us in on this project and more.
How did Porteous’ Studio come to be your first project together?
We were actually looking for a small piece of land on the west coast of Scotland. Something very remote and beautiful, we would have built a small bothy type structure as a holiday home. But we found a garage/workshop for sale in Edinburgh in an amazing location for exploring the city so we just went for it. When we got the space we didn’t even know what we were going to do with it, but after many nights standing in the cold damp garage we worked out the plan and Porteous’ Studio was underway.
It’s located in the World Heritage site in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh right in the shadow of the Castle. So we knew it would be a place people wanted to visit.
Eilidh is an Architect so we were in the position to realise our ideas quite easily. I (Jack) was working as a chef so had some input to the design and ideas but I was fairly focused on cooking at that point in time. When the project went on site I left my job as a chef and project managed the build and after that I’ve been managing the experience side of the business as well as helping Eilidh with the Architectural projects.
Tell us about some of your most important efforts to be an eco-friendly destination?
All the power for the studio is provided from Green energy, predominantly wind power alongside this we have smart thermostats which provide great data and areas we can improve on. When redeveloping the studio we heavily insulated it and installed underfloor heating which makes it very efficient to run.
We try to limit plastics in the studio and provide our breakfast completely plastic free, we use our own reusable glass containers for things like milk and juice, yoghurt etc.
We did trial paper bin bags but it didn’t work out for most guests, so we now have biodegradable bags which are a little easier to use.
In the future we would like to look at the way our linen is washed to make sure no fibres are being flushed into the sea but it is an ongoing process of improvement.
The studio was constructed of natural materials which are very long lasting. We built everything to last the lifespan of the studio so no waste will be made by swapping out furniture etc. We think the furniture will probably outlast us!
For those not too familiar with Edinburgh, would you be able to narrow down a recommendation or two?
In Edinburgh we are lucky to have a mountain in the city called Arthur’s Seat. It takes around an hour to walk up and the views are amazing.
We have our own supper club in the studio which is definitely worth recommending. It’s a monthly event, around 20 guests come to the studio and enjoy dinner together, it’s amazing letting people meet new people.
What’s on the horizon for Porteous’ Studio and IZAT ARUNDELL?
We create quiet and considered spaces using natural materials which encourage human interaction.
The studio is currently working on around ten projects, we have three residential refurbishments and conversions. Three new houses in Fife, a garden studio in Edinburgh and various other smaller bits and pieces. Around four of the projects will be completed this year.
We will be launching a new website which will provide a clear picture of our ethos and current projects.
This year we are launching a new website alongside an online shop. The supper club will be brought under the brand. We want to create something similar to Grannmarkt 13, where people can eat, sleep and shop. A whole experience.
The store will include items that are in the studio and new items from Scottish designers alongside items we have designed ourselves.
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