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Portobello church hall makes way for townhouse trio

December 16 2016

Portobello church hall makes way for townhouse trio
A trio of townhouses are to be built on the site of a disused 1970s church hall in Portobello after developer Pete Turner was given the final go-ahead by City of Edinburgh Council, complemtary to ongoing preservation of the B-listed main building.

The two-year phased development of St James Church will see newly formed practice Sonia Browse Architects oversee the housing-led transformation of a surplus hall and car parking with a low-key intervention.

Drawing inspiration from the ‘linked villa’ typology common to Georgian properties in the Brighton and Rosefield district of the city the mews scheme sees single-storey garages set back from the street which conjoin neighbouring properties.

In a statement the architects said: “Elements of the design borrow from the Gothic ‘perpendicular style’ of the church itself. Despite being a modest two-storey size, the houses have a vertical emphasis created by separating and modelling the two planes of the front elevation, which draws the eye up to the sky, echoing the soaring arches and gable profiles of the Church. This is further emphasised by the tall windows which appear to be double-height, starting on the ground floor and continuing from above a first-floor planter to the upper floor of the house.

“These large, high-spec family townhouses are likely to prove popular with a growing Portobello population. Each feature light-filled open-plan living spaces with under-floor heating and wood-burning stoves on the ground floor opening through large bi-fold doors to south-east facing private gardens at the rear. Central stairs lead to four generously sized double bedrooms, each with exposed trusses two of which have large clearstory glazing whilst the other two leading on to an upper terrace. A large window from the terrace draws light down the stair in the centre of the plan.”

Each timber kit home will benefit from triple aspects, natural ventilation and common areas to the front which serve as a social space for community and play upon completion in  autumn 2017.
The Church of Scotland was forced to offload the property due to declining congregation numbers
The Church of Scotland was forced to offload the property due to declining congregation numbers

1 Comment

George Buchanan
#1 Posted by George Buchanan on 19 Dec 2016 at 12:35 PM
Beautifully delicate images. Looking forward to seeing the scheme complete on site.

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