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Edinburgh church to make way for new student housing

December 15 2015

Edinburgh church to make way for new student housing
A disused church on Edinburgh’s Pennywell Road, Muirhouse, is to be demolished and replaced by new build student housing under plans submitted by EMA.

This seeks to repair the streetscape by arranging three separate blocks along the site perimeter, faced with brick and dark grey cladding and retaining an existing boundary wall.

In their design statement EMA said: “Flats have been located to have active frontage onto open space, streets and courtyards. The use of positive boundary treatments and a strong landscape structure will ensure the new development provides a sense of place and setting from the outset.”

The scheme will complement recently delivered new housing to the south.


Job a
#1 Posted by Job a on 15 Dec 2015 at 12:08 PM
Another EMA classic.
Rem Koolbag
#2 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 15 Dec 2015 at 14:49 PM
Surely the streetscape wouldn't need repairing if it hadn't been broken with the demolition of the church...?
#3 Posted by Cadmonkey on 15 Dec 2015 at 15:06 PM
A truly considered and crafted effort.
I particularly love the path from the pavement that takes you to a blank wall.
Big Chantelle's Soul
#4 Posted by Big Chantelle's Soul on 15 Dec 2015 at 15:16 PM
For - "positive boundary treatments and a strong landscape structure"...Read - A wall, hedge and strip of grass! I'm out!
#5 Posted by David on 15 Dec 2015 at 17:13 PM
These people need to stop writing words that sound good but have no relation to what is being 'designed'
Arthur Gormley
#6 Posted by Arthur Gormley on 16 Dec 2015 at 07:06 AM
I think you've just described most architectural criticism there, #5!
#7 Posted by modernish on 16 Dec 2015 at 11:00 AM
The buildings respond to their context, which isn't saying much. The best thing about this scheme is it made me take a google streetview driveby. There are some little charmers in their leisurewear (or is it pyjamas?) which gave me a good laugh.
#8 Posted by modernish on 16 Dec 2015 at 11:06 AM
ps - Perhaps EMA should have looked to the Zoo Architects North Edinburgh Arts Centre just tucked around the corner (which is a little gem) for their inspiration rather than the prevalent urban decay.
the sultan of brooneye
#9 Posted by the sultan of brooneye on 16 Dec 2015 at 14:06 PM
Am I the only one that think even the literal language used here is sadly flawed. "Active Frontages" - the kind of prose usually acceptable when it doesn't equate to being able to look directly into someone's living room? Perhaps "a balance of privacy and the inherent safety created by discreetly overlooked/observed public spaces" would be a better aspiration; rather than suggesting each living room or bedroom window is a 'peep show' for every passerby?

ps. I'll be checking your design statements - that phrase is now trade-marked and for my use only :)
Ken Macdonald
#10 Posted by Ken Macdonald on 16 Dec 2015 at 14:35 PM
Brick buildings in that area are definately an improvement on render & roughcast. This light brick and modern clean style should give an uplift to the street.

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