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Revised Caltongate plans submitted

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September 3 2013

Revised Caltongate plans submitted
Artisan Real Estate, developer behind a £150M regeneration project in Edinburgh’s Caltongate district have submitted revised proposals to Edinburgh City Council following the conclusion of a public consultation.

Designed by Allan Murray Architects the application focuses on land bounded by New Street and East Market Street and will deliver a range of office accommodation with mixed leisure and commercial facilities at street level, in addition to extensive landscaping and public realm work.

Changes to the consented 2008 application include a reduction in the overall scale and massing of the development together with increased permeability and active frontages around a new square.

Individual buildings will be largely clad in sandstone as before with zinc roofing although other materials have now been introduced to highlight architectural features; including timber cladding and louvred facades.

Artisan managing director Lukas Nakos said: "During the last 18 months, we have listened to a huge variety of views and opinions on the development of the site and heard impassioned arguments relating to its unique importance, setting, heritage and community.

"Our planning application reflects this varied and dynamic consultation process and we feel we now have a proposal which balances ambitious and flexible commercial priorities with a genuine understanding of the area's community and civic context.

"Artisan will bring international capital investment of £150m to the table, coupled with the vision and commitment needed to complete what has already been started.

"The location is the missing piece of the jigsaw which will see the rejuvenation of the Old Town as a vibrant commercial and social quarter of international appeal."
A new archway on the Royal Mile, part of a separate planning application for the southern site, gives access to the public square
A new archway on the Royal Mile, part of a separate planning application for the southern site, gives access to the public square
A new public square will form the heart of the scheme
A new public square will form the heart of the scheme

Access to the public square is possible direct from the Royal Mile
Access to the public square is possible direct from the Royal Mile
The view down a new look New Street
The view down a new look New Street

4 Comments

Egbert
#1 Posted by Egbert on 3 Sep 2013 at 15:40 PM
Sadly this scheme still seems to have utterly misunderstood the scale, grain and fundamental character of the Old Town and Canongate. The buildings may have been reduced in height but this only serves to emphasise how overscaled the 'public' spaces are - they're far too open with too little to modulate them (other than the wishful-thinking café umbrellas in the renders). The routes through the site are all too wide too - there's no subtlety to it, and little understanding of how the transitions between streets, pends, wynds and courts and contrasts between intimate and collective spaces give the Old Town its sense of place. The huge (and frankly ineptly-handled) archway blasted through an unfortunate Canongate tenement is a case in point - why on earth does a pedestrian route (right next to an existing pend) have to be so big? Rather than making more incremental changes to a flawed and inappropriate big-floorplate commercial masterplan I'd be happier seeing this scheme taken right back to the drawing board and replaced with something with a modicum of sensitivity to place.
H Scott
#2 Posted by H Scott on 6 Sep 2013 at 12:38 PM
Have to agree with Egbert. The plans refer to a new pend but it is ridiculously large to the point of not being a pend. Reduce the height and width by a half and you might have a pend.
brian
#3 Posted by brian on 10 Sep 2013 at 13:53 PM
It resembles Talbot gateway in Blackpool.They seem hell bend on turning Edinburgh into Blackpool of the North.
simon
#4 Posted by simon on 13 Sep 2013 at 18:32 PM
It's a very 'pedestrian' plan with little thought to the history and heritage of the area. There is nothing to suggest that this is Edinburgh and could easily be Newcastle, Manchester or Berlin! I'm disappointed as I had expected something quite exciting and stimulating. This just feels rather bland :-(

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