Controversial St Andrew Square re-build plan surfaces
June 6 2013Edinburgh City Council.
In a listed building consent application developer Stockland proposes to reconfigure the B listed office building, after re-assessing a scheme previously drawn up by Gareth Hoskins Architects and CDA, citing changed market conditions for the rethink.
Whilst acknowledging the need to retain the sculptural elevation of this façade the developers cite agent feedback indicating that the previously consented scheme lacked the contiguous floorplates required by occupiers due to discrepancies in levels between existing and new build elements.
To remedy this CDA have rejigged the existing scheme to reconfigure office floors in the retained portion so that they are now level to attract tenants.
More contentiously elements of the sculptural façade will also be removed, albeit rebuilt, as the developer states the façade alone cannot be retained for structural reasons.
As such it is now proposed to dismantle the property down to ground floor level, with Italian granite cladding panels re-used in the rebuild. Importantly however this will incorporate elements of both new structure and finishes.
Euan Leitch, assistant director of the Cockburn Association described the plans as a 'conservation travesty', saying: "The neighbouring listed Italianate facades have consent for demolition precisely because of they have been reduced to facades and so even if the Scot Prov front was rebuilt in 20yrs it could be similarly lost. I don’t think the Council or Historic Scotland has covered themselves in roses here.
"The building is not a winner with the public (as I frequently learn) but this approach is a conservation travesty."
It is proposed to proceed with the planned Gareth Hoskins penned new build element - subject to a pre-let.