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‘Polite’ student flats to rise in Edinburgh’s Old Town

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February 19 2018

‘Polite’ student flats to rise in Edinburgh’s Old Town
BoyesRees Architects have brought forward plans to create a custom-built student accommodation block at 179 Canongate in Edinburgh’s Old Town Conservation Area.

This will require demolition of existing unlisted properties to make room for 115 studio and cluster flats alongside a small commercial unit, common areas and laundry while establishing a pedestrian through route by creating an entrance off Gladstone Court to a new landscaped courtyard.

In their design and access statement the architects wrote: “Recognising the surrounding vernacular and importance of adjacent buildings the proposals have been developed to create a polite intervention in the street-scape and to positively contribute to its surroundings.”

Designed to provide a variegated roofscape the new homes will make use of reclaimed stone at ground level with upper floors making use of a combination of zinc, ashlar sandstone and render below a pitched standing seam zinc roof.

BoyesRees added: “We haven’t resorted to pastiche such as the inclusion of dormers, corbels or chimneys.  As such our roofscape is a modern interpretation, including modern high quality standing seam metal cladding, of the architectural language prevailing nearby.”

The scheme will join New Waverley in transforming a former industrial area to the west of Waverley Station.
The project will entail demolition of existing brick and stone buildings
The project will entail demolition of existing brick and stone buildings
The proposed design seeks to add to the Old Town skyline
The proposed design seeks to add to the Old Town skyline

15 Comments

Whit?
#1 Posted by Whit? on 19 Feb 2018 at 12:20 PM
They are demolishing those lovely buildings for that p**h...
StyleCouncil
#2 Posted by StyleCouncil on 19 Feb 2018 at 13:35 PM
Sad. These are beautiful little industrial buildings..completely in scale with their surrounding and telling an important story about the history of the area. The proposal seems to completely misread the site and context as demonstrated by that ridiculous montage, especially with regard to materials- on the buildings and on the ground too.
Why ashlar sandstone in the Old Town!?
RJB
#3 Posted by RJB on 19 Feb 2018 at 13:45 PM
"We haven’t resorted to pastiche" It may have made your design better though!
WhatMore?
#4 Posted by WhatMore? on 19 Feb 2018 at 16:51 PM
The sad fact is that these buildings and countless other buildings are being demolished, because of the current ravenous (and frankly) unsustainable demand and push by the land developers companies to snap up any property that is not being used or has been on the market for any period of time to plonk insipid, poorly designed structures that are completely out of character in historic areas. (because to do well design structures that respects the area and who elevations are in keeping with the design would cost far too much for the developers to like.)

The current flavour atm is as we all know student halls of residence buildings, which will cram the students into the space small cells like rooms, all because of the good return on the owners expenditure.

isobel cameron
#5 Posted by isobel cameron on 19 Feb 2018 at 19:54 PM
no more student flats , for the love of God,,, you're destroying our City to build student flats , there are far too many already,,,,stay away from our City,,,,if you need more flats ,build them OUTSIDE the City,,,,students ARE capable of using BUSES......leave our City alone....
Philip
#6 Posted by Philip on 19 Feb 2018 at 20:29 PM
Recognising the surrounding vernacular, they have covered the scheme in zinc, render and ashlar...erm.
Bad scheme. Should fit in well with the inappropriate, bland crap next door by Artisan though.
KW Burns
#7 Posted by KW Burns on 19 Feb 2018 at 21:33 PM
Those lovely, characteristic buildings have been empty for a while and I’m not sure what they could be used for. But I’m sure smarter, more imaginative people than me could come up with something so much better than the lazy, pointless, bland p... some lazy, pointless architect has come up with..!
Lena Russell
#8 Posted by Lena Russell on 20 Feb 2018 at 09:25 AM
Shortsighted decisions have a long lasting impact .a. Eauticul city like us should protect its heritage and invest in unused properties in a manner that is fit for a city of this Calibre I instead of building substandard properties and attracting tourists,pleasure seeking groups .building hotels and student accommodation is. It a sign of progress it is a means of making a lot of money for the developers who then have to keep up maintain these new buildings .just look st the consistent scaffolding around new buildings....I think we have thrown common sense out of the window and concentrating on instant make new money making opportunities.
Islands of sanity
#9 Posted by Islands of sanity on 20 Feb 2018 at 09:41 AM
Appalling. We are forgetting the Geddesian prrinciples of conservative surgery in the Old Town and the balance between old and new. This part of town has already been sanitised. These industrial buildings form part of the special character of the conservation area and must be retained.
david black
#10 Posted by david black on 20 Feb 2018 at 12:35 PM
The uncontrolled spread of student ghetto batttery units which are not so much housing as a slick investment model benefiting non locals in such places as California and Singapore have become a kind of civic syphilis in Edinburgh, and since students pay no council tax are subsidised by the rest of us. There are original buildings there, so the developer and its soulless architect should take their 'pishtiche' creation elsewhere. We need real houses instead.
Michael Worobec
#11 Posted by Michael Worobec on 20 Feb 2018 at 13:06 PM
This is yet another off the shelf lack lustre fake stone bland design.” Richer tapestry of texture time and patina would help. The original building should reference the new . Forget the bond light grey and fake sandstone involve brick, rusted metals, skate, cobbles, stainless steel, tiles, terracotta etc. Edinburgh is too precious to let this ‘runt, pastiche Building reminiscent of John Lewis Building In Edinburgh appear on this site, seen from so many vantage points on the city. I advise the builders/ Architects google European architecture as there’s are poor.
Michael Worobec
#12 Posted by Michael Worobec on 20 Feb 2018 at 13:21 PM
My comment to Edinburgh Council : This is yet another off the shelf lack lustre fake stone bland design.” A richer tapestry of texture, tone and patina would help. The original building should reference the new . Forget the bland light grey and fake sandstone, involve brick, rusted metals, slate, cobbles, stainless steel, tiles, terracotta etc. Edinburgh is too precious to let this ‘runt, pastiche building reminiscent of the John Lewis Building In Edinburgh appear on this site, seen from so many vantage points in the city. I advise the builders/ Architects google European architecture as their ideas are poor.
Rob Fergusson
#13 Posted by Rob Fergusson on 20 Feb 2018 at 14:20 PM
Well, well, the Red-Tory Labour Edinburgh Council is parceling off your land to developers? EDINBURGH UNI to sit back, just like at the yearly Fesitv-uhm, 'Carnival', and rake in the cash?

Quelle surprise. The clearances are alive and well.
Daniel
#14 Posted by Daniel on 21 Feb 2018 at 10:13 AM
Some very 'old man yells at cloud' comments here.

It's hard to argue that students are 'subsidised' by council taxpayers since they're unlikely to take advantage of much of what local government spends money on, from social cares, schools all the way down to stuff like planning. But they do spend money in shops, bars, and on public transport, all of which contribute to the running of the city.

I suppose ultimately, the issue, if these blocks weren't build, where would the students go? And the answer is - into the private rental market. Which as we all know, is already stressed.
Simpson & Brown
#15 Posted by Simpson & Brown on 22 Feb 2018 at 09:51 AM
Despite not being listed this little group of buildings has a fascinating history. The big stone building on the right hand side of the photo was the old ‘retort shed’ where they tested gas equipment. We recall that the slates on the open-battened (not sarked) roof used to be individually hinged so that they would flap open and shut in the event of an explosion. The smaller brick building on the left was also home to Simpson & Brown Architects for over 20 years, and before that Nicholas Groves-Raines, so it has an interesting architectural legacy. What a shame to see this go to waste.

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