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Donaldson's School

Donaldson's School

This significant project includes the restoration and conversion of the historic Playfair building and Gate Lodges into a collection of high quality apartments and the creation of new build housing to the north of the site.

The former Donaldson's School for the Deaf is one of the most distinctive buildings in Edinburgh and was designed by Edinburgh's foremost architect, William Playfair, in the 1840s. BuiIt in the style of a Jacobethan Palace, the 124,840 sq ft quadrangular form and central tower with domed octagonal turrets is arguably one of the most important structures in Edinburgh.

The site is being undertaken in partnership by two developers, each of whom have appointed the practice for their respective sections. City & Country is responsible for the restoration and conversion of the Grade A listed William Playfair building into a range of residential apartments whilst CALA Homes will be constructing new apartments on the north side of the site.

The proposal consists of a crescent of new build apartments to the north of the site and conversion of the existing building into a series of mezzanine apartments. The development will offer a varied mix of different property types and will also feature a newly created half moon shaped landscaped garden area between the Playfair building and the crescent of new build properties. The proposed landscape scheme aims to enhance the feeling and perception of still being in the country, on the rural edge of a historic city, in much the same way as Playfair intended. Parking will be provided for all residents within underground car parks and the south lawn will be retained as an open grassed area.

City & Country’s aim for the revised proposals of the Playfair Building have been guided by a specific set of principles, including working with the existing grain of the building to ensure a greater retention of existing fabric and historic features, providing a varied mix of unit types and sizes to appeal to a wide range of potential purchasers, and creating an extensive repair schedule for the restoration of the Playfair building.

PROJECT: Donaldson's School
LOCATION: Edinburgh
CLIENT: CALA Homes & City and Country
ARCHITECT: Richard Murphy Architects
INTERIOR DESIGNER: Alexander James Interiors
Donaldson's School
Donaldson's School
Main Contractor:  BAM Construction
Acoustic Consultant:  RMP

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