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Donaldson’s College residential conversion back on track

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August 26 2015

Donaldson’s College residential conversion back on track
Long stalled plans for the conversion of William Playfair’s A-listed Donaldson’s College, Edinburgh, to residential use have been rekindled with the submission of plans by City & Country to insert 117 apartments within the historic fabric and remodel two gate houses into standalone homes.

This will see external elevations restored to their original condition with removal of steel entrance ramps, security grilles and surface mounted services with repair works carried out as necessary.

A crescent of new build properties overseen by CALA Homes will take shape to the north of the main college building, replacing a mishmash of ancillary structures to create a new ‘formal’ setting.

In their design statement Richard Murphy Architects wrote: “In the proposed scheme, the few remaining ancillary buildings are removed and the north site provided with a new ‘formal’ crescent building. As before, the crescent is arranged symmetrically around the Playfair Building, and broken at its midpoint, acknowledging the siting of the chapel of the Playfair Building. A formal lawn is provided between new and old, providing a new ‘clean’ setting to the Playfair building to its north face.”

Ground floor flats will have access to private sunken terrace gardens whilst penthouse flats will open out onto a private roof terrace.
84 new build apartments will be created above basement parking
84 new build apartments will be created above basement parking
A split crescent of new build apartments will frame the northern edge of the college grounds
A split crescent of new build apartments will frame the northern edge of the college grounds

3 Comments

Big Chantelle
#1 Posted by Big Chantelle on 28 Aug 2015 at 10:18 AM
Good Lord. Wit is this? What dis this dumbed down architecture mean? Why wiz it chosen?

Is there some law, punishable by death, that forbids architects fae designing buildings with some feeling? Compare this to Donaldson's college. Compare the mastery of stone in that building. Compare what these new buildings are -- bland, inferior, boring............

Way te go Edinburgh. Whilst yer at it -- build a KFC in the chapel a Edinburgh castle tae.
clive
#2 Posted by clive on 31 Aug 2015 at 05:12 AM
as much as i think RM can be a bit formulaic at times, i dont think this can be called 'dumbed down' / 'bland' / 'boring'. I think it is considerably better than any pastiche turreted extension that others might prefer, and allows the original Donaldson's College to stand alone, receive the regeneration it has awaited for so long, funded, through necessity by other development.
Kevin
#3 Posted by Kevin on 22 Sep 2015 at 17:36 PM
For RM, this is pretty restrained. Which is what it needs to be, alongside a building as ornate as Donaldsons.

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