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Morgan McDonnell propose plans for residential infill at Edinburgh’s Old Town

October 13 2017

Morgan McDonnell propose plans for residential infill at Edinburgh’s Old Town
Square and Crescent have commissioned Morgan McDonnell Architects to draw up plans for a residential infill scheme on Edinburgh’s Calton Road.

The resulting scheme will see 24 flats built above a ground-floor commercial space within the Old Town conservation area following removal of existing buildings.

Explaining their plans the architects wrote: “… our proposals split the Calton Road frontage into two sections: one a tall sandstone structure that signals entrance into Panmure Close and the second a brick element that articulates a definition between ground floor office and upper level residential accommodation. Between these two elements a glazed slot provides separation and articulates entrance into the residential accommodation.

“To further define these two frontages a consistent opening size and position is proposed on the sandstone structure with a contrasting playful rhythm on the brick element. This rhythm is continued into the courtyard and garden frontages with generous glazed openings and Juliet balconies opening into living spaces.”

A mixed palette of sandstone, buff brick and dark grey cladding has been chosen to create a ‘simple, crisp modern aesthetic’.
A number of unlisted buildings will be demolished
A number of unlisted buildings will be demolished
The block will be split between sandstone and brick elements
The block will be split between sandstone and brick elements


#1 Posted by Tony on 13 Oct 2017 at 10:57 AM
I like these, although the die-hards of Edinburghers will be up in arms cause it disnae look auld, un-schooled in the fact a city contains buildings built in different time-periods in different styles and designs, creating an eclectic mix.
#2 Posted by Daniel on 13 Oct 2017 at 11:49 AM
This is fine, but it really doesn't bode well that they've not even bothered to fake a ground floor tenant in the renders...
Bill S
#3 Posted by Bill S on 13 Oct 2017 at 11:50 AM
Hi Tony,

Actually the main reason why locals will be up in arms about this is the fact that this dross is replacing one of the last creative and music ventures in Edinburgh - Studio 24. The design is a just a replica of the the others up and down this street, and will probably become the fate of the garages opposite.
#4 Posted by Philip on 13 Oct 2017 at 12:01 PM
Mmm...this is lazy cut and paste architecture, however it should fit in well with the other reductive cr4p around this part of the old town.
After the clunky horror that is Advocates Close, I am hoping this is handled with more finesse.
Stevie Steve
#5 Posted by Stevie Steve on 13 Oct 2017 at 13:33 PM
yeh its all a bit meh is't it. Didn't the existing building that its replacing have some character? Nothing of that could be retained?
#6 Posted by Stlyecouncil on 13 Oct 2017 at 13:57 PM
Well it’s not dreadful but schemes like this demonstrate either the complete lack of confidence or, in my opinion, lack of talent in Scottish architecture right now, especially in the residential sector.
Why should a residential project in the Cannongate be a stylistic facsimile of a project in Morningside, Corstorphine or Leith. There seems to be zero regard or understanding of context or any intention to actually ‘design’ a new building…just offload and re-scale the contents of the office server onto another site. This example seems especially banal and its style now a tired memory of what was vaguely fashionable back in 2012…the random window arrangement being one of the principal offences of this idiom. You know you have a weak scheme when you have to randomise the windows…
#7 Posted by alibi on 13 Oct 2017 at 20:22 PM
What has already been done to the setting of that Churchyard (where Adam Smith is buried ironically) is an absolute travesty. Games up the pole already frankly
Lindsay Buchan
#8 Posted by Lindsay Buchan on 16 Oct 2017 at 14:03 PM
Edinburgh is fast becoming like so many other British cities, full of lovely buildings until you turn a corner and then it's just dreary modernist dross

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